11 Oct

I first saw Glasser (the nom-de-plume of Los Angeles’ own Cameron Mesirow) three years ago at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, opening for Brightblack Morning Light, and instantly fell in love. I’ve now seen her six times and I’ve learned to expect something different every time I see her. One show she’ll play with a full dance troupe performing avant-garde dance pieces to her music, the next time you see her she’ll have every member of Darker My Love performing with her (as was the case for the show she played with Ghost and Lichens; talk about my dream lineup), and the time after that she’ll have two guys dressed in 16th-century Chinese peasant outfits accompanying her on a pair of live samplers. Sometimes it’ll be only her and a friend on guitar. But always the show is excellent.

Of course, when I first saw her I resolved to buy whatever music she had for sale. But, as it turned out, she had none. She was working on her full-length debut, she said, and guessed that it would be out in the spring of 2009. But, many shows and two years later, the album had still not come out. Apparently, once she had finished it, she decided she was unhappy with it, scrapped the finished product, and re-recorded the whole thing from scratch, finally resulting in Ring, which came out quietly last month. After all that wait, it is everything I hoped for. Her vocals, strong and arresting, ring out clear over her rich, tribal beats, themselves a warm combination of acoustic and electronic instrumentsation. The cyclicality implied in the title resounds throughout the album; Glasser’s songs often reject traditional song structure, the need for lyrical chorus hooks, and the notion that an album must have a beginning, middle, or end. For a taste, check out this video Jacinto Astiazarán made for an early version of “Apply,” the album’s opening track:


She’ll be kicking off a small West Coast tour at the Troubadour in West Hollywood on November 3rd. I strongly recommend swinging by and picking up a copy of Ring while you’re there.



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