[sic] Magazine

Glasser – Interiors

In this post- Adele world in which we now live, the charts seem littered with female singer-songwriters don’t they? Scrub that – because many of these ‘singer-songwriters’ don’t actually write any songs! In fact, a good number of them don’t even appear to sing – at least not without auto-tune. Anyhow, here’s the second album from Glasser . I must admit to purchasing her debut album Ring (released in September 2010) as a kind of fortuitous mistake. Not the kind of mistake that meant that once I’d bought the album I played it and then immediately regretted it. No … you see, somebody I’d been chatting with in a bar had mentioned that I’d probably like Grouper – which under the effects of an alcohol-fuelled evening had somehow morphed into ‘Glasser’ by the time I’d arrived home. So it was that I ordered a copy of Ring from the States – and as it turned out, I actually enjoyed it – which is kind of handy don’t you think?!!

Glasser is actually the stage name of American singer-songwriter (yes, she actually does both!) Cameron Mesirow . If you enjoy angular, experimental synth music – or Björk – you’ll enjoy this. Actually the Björk comparison is a little unfair as the compositions herein feel more stripped back and the vocals more layered. Take ‘Landscape’, which has the kind of instrumentation which wouldn’t feel out of place on a David Sylvian album. We’re also treated to some really nice harmonies too. In fact, it’s the space between the music – and the overall feeling that ‘less is more’ – which kind of defines this album. The typical keyboards / drums / bass / vocals line-up is dispensed with and instead we are presented with a selection of noises, layered lead vocals, minimal keyboard sounds, samples, effects and vocals-as-instruments in their own right. It feels very much like a kind of ‘go into a studio and see what we come up with’ album rather than the fruits of laboured late-night song writing sessions.

Three short interludes ‘Window I’, ‘Window II’ and ‘Window III’ pepper the album with part III strangely appearing before part II in the track listing. When ‘Keam Theme’ appears, it’s the first track on the album which resembles something which you might hear on the radio. Not that it’s ‘pop’ or ‘mainstream’ – definitely not – but it’s something altogether more accessible, which might allow people to identify with Glasser – an accessible route into her music, if you like. Think Bat For Lashes – but with a signpost.

Then we hit ‘Dissect’. It’s a killer track. Remixed, this would likely be massive in the clubs. As it is, the album version is stripped back and laid bare; I really like this version though. Unfortunately, there are too few tracks like ‘Dissect’ here and far too many experimental ones.

I’m left with the overriding feeling that Interiors is just a little too experimental. There are simply too few accessible routes into the music for the masses, which is especially disappointing given that the debut album delivered hooks galore. Interiors leaves the listener with insufficient memorable moments and the overriding feeling that this album doesn’t know who its target audience is. For me, personally, I also struggle with the inclusion of the three ‘Window’ intermissions, they simply don’t add any real value to the album – and may even interrupt the overall flow.