Frontier Psychiatrist

Exotic Erotic – Glasser’s Ring

Posted on: October 11, 2010

Cameron Mesirow a.k.a. Glasser

Lots of pop music deals with sex, but few records drip with the sustained sensuality of Ring, the debut album by Glasser. On this electro-pop project, singer-songwriter Cameron Mesirow howls, yelps, chants, and slithers over a Come Hither soundscape of electronic drums and synthesizer drones.  With melodies that blend blues ballads, exotic eroticism, and sultry spirituality, these songs lead straight to the bedroom.

That’s not to say that Mesirow comes across as a sexpot or man candy. As a singer and lyricist, she conveys the confidence of Annie Lennox, the angst of Sarah MacLaclan, and the quirkiness of Bjork. The way she sings her own backing vocals gives the album a dreaminess with echoes of Enya. Ultimately, Glasser blurs the boundaries between pop and New Age, making the kind of music that might accompany a time lapse nature film of a flower as it blooms and decays. Ring is an album of aural aromatherapy that might come bundled with packets of herbal tea, bottles of essential oil, or scented candles.

Glasser, Apply

The multicultural trance aesthetic starts with the drums, which range from simple Four on the Floor beats to the polyrhythms associated with African music. While most instruments blend together into wash of sound, several songs feature the marimba, a cousin of the xylophone found in traditional music across Asia, Latin America, and Africa and embraced by rock musicians from Paul Simon to Jack White.  To ears accustomed to Western rock music, her minor key melodies and instrumental lines often sound imported from China,  Japan, and Indonesia.

Glasser, Glad

In most of the nine songs on Ring, Mesirow and her producers follow a formula: begin with sparse instrumentation,  usually drums and vocals, then add layers of synthesizers and multi-tracked voices that build toward a chaotic climax.  Few songs end on a definitive note or beat; instead they trail off in a post-coital flutter; it’s often a challenge to discern where one song ends and another begins. As a result, Ring sounds like a true album, from the tribal drums that opens the record to the baritone saxophone that ends the journey.

Glasser, Mirrorage

While many songs address lovers and the ideals of trust and faith,  Mesirow also celebrates Mother Nature, with references to fire and clouds, rivers and tides. This elemental simplicity comes across in song titles like “Glad,” “Clamour” and “Apply,” and choruses where Mesirow repeats a single word like “home” and “morning.” Mesirow pulls off the occasional poeticism, as when she calls a river a “beast with a watery hide.” For the most part, the lyrics take a back seat to the sounds she weaves with her voice and the music. Ultimately, Glasser seems less concerned with words than with feelings; Ring is a shimmering seduction in every sense of the word.

Keith Meatto is co-editor of Frontier Psychiatrist. He recently wrote about the new Sufjan Stevens album, The Age of Adz.

Glasser - Ring

 

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11 Responses to "Exotic Erotic – Glasser’s Ring"

Love her voice!

[…] Meatto is co-editor of Frontier Psychiatrist. He recently reviewed new albums by Glasser and Sufjan […]

[…] of Tears for Fears.  At concert last week in Brooklyn, the band joined forces with FP Favorite Glasser to cover Sade’s “By Your Side.”  And for the third song of their debut album […]

[…] Keith Meatto is co-editor of Frontier Psychiatrist. He recently wrote about GAYNGS and Glasser. […]

[…] of the 90s, with the exponential growth in 80s nostalgia this year (c.f. Chromeo, Glasser, James Blake), it’s easy to forget that the 90s happened.  Thankfully Raekwon and Twista are […]

[…] Meatto is co-editor of Frontier Psychiatrist. He recently reviewed albums by Glasser and GAYNGS and wrote the CMJ 2010 Band Name […]

[…] with a few other FP favorites (Wild Nothing, Glasser, Perfume Genius), How To Dress Well is one of the best new projects of 2010.  The brainchild of […]

[…] bounce of the bass all seem designed to lift the spirits.  While bands like The White Stripes and Glasser employ malleted instruments to make their music sound ominous, Singer uses the xylophone for its […]

[…] collaborations with several of 2010s finest new arrivals, including Suckers and FP obsession Glasser.  It’s enough to remind you that there is a future after […]

[…] With his mixture of sacred and secular, Active Child sounds like a cross between one-woman band Glasser and a digital version of Sufjan Stevens. With this project, Grossi joins a growing number of […]

[…] to perform under a stage name rather than their own names. How To Dress Well, Twin Shadow, and Glasser all come to mind. Why do you think this is, and how did you come by the name Youth […]

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