Album: Glasser – Ring

There are only so many hours in the day, only so long one can spend listening to and acquiring new music. As such we must pick our albums carefully, avoid the forgettable and seek out the original. It’s often disheartening to think of the many amazing albums out there that will never grace our headphones. But sometimes, when we take chances on the unknown, we are rewarded with a rare kind beauty, an album so powerful and brilliant we allow ourselves a pat on the back for getting it right. Ring is one such album.

Glasser is the stage name taken by US electronic singer songwriter Cameron Mesirow. That Glasser will draw comparisons to Bjork is inevitable, most experimental female artists are branded with this flattering but overused tag. However to get an accurate idea of Mesirow’s sound we must look beyond the Icelandic icon. Ring bares a vocal wizardry akin to that of Zola Jesus with the varied instrumentation of Efterklang.

Opening track ‘Apply’ lays down a marker; the low, marching tribal drum provides the foundation for Mesirow to showcase her vocal range chopping from teasing lows to all-consuming highs. That voice, fragile yet unbreakable, offers several breathtaking moments throughout Ring. While Mesirow’s singing is undoubtedly the most striking feature of the debut LP, the carefully crafted instrumentation, which seamlessly combines the classical with the contemporary facilitates and bolsters the impact of her vocals.

Glasser, though armed with a killer voice, does not shy away from the experimental, on ‘Mirrorage’ the Bat for Lashes-esque rumbling drum beat is set against dreamy synths and bells to create a psychedelic gem. While closing tune ‘Clamour’ sounds like something four tet has already gotten his hands on and rearranged, with its off-time beat and erratic bursts of brass and strings mixing with a whole host of vocal layers. If Glasser can replicate the heights of Ring she could join Bjork and Fever Ray on the hierarchy of experimental female artists.

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