LP / CD / MP3 Album
28 Sep 2010
4. Plane Temp
8. Treasure of We
Glasser is the one-woman orchestra of Cameron Mesirow. Her debut album, Ring, is a singular work. It moves like the wake of a small boat in a still lake: each song its own, but leading to, and becoming, the next. In doing so it builds on the tradition of classic albums like Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, and R. Kelly’s Trapped In the Closet song-cycle: albums that as a whole create stories that are bigger than the sum of their individual songs.
Glasser entered public consciousness in 2009 with her debut EP, Apply, on True Panther, and a UK-only 12” on the Young Turks label. The intimate, luxurious music resonated widely, despite being made by Cameron, alone and in airplanes and shoe stores, on Garage Band. Her EPs and live shows earned her attention from producers Van Rivers and the Subliminal Kid (who co-produced a few tracks and the transitions on this album) and opening tour slots with the XX, Jonsi, and Delorean.
With Ring, however, Cameron worked for months with producer Ariel Rechtshaid to re-imagine her musical arrangements, incorporating organic instrumentation like strings, woodwinds, bass, and a wide array of percussion into her once-sparse recordings. Her simple, minimal melodies and rapturous vocals are perfectly complimented by the album’s maximalist arrangements. The voice becomes a focal instrument, delivers abstract stories and sounds that drench the music in emotion without resorting to narrative clichés.
In Glasser there exists, side by side, the optimism of a woman captivated by creation and travel, as well as the anxiety that accompanies nomadism and change. Of this duality, the New York Times said “these are beautiful songs, both sweet and abstract, deeply felt and anodyne.” Somehow, in Glasser’s efforts to make sense of her world, she has made an album with the universal lure of both a lullaby and a hymn.
Cover art by Tauba Auerbach