Everyone makes comparisons; it’s what people do, it’s how we measure things. It would seem that any female singer with an unusual voice gets a Bjork tag, and Glasser is no exception – you’ll hardly read a Glasser review where Bjork isn’t mentioned, this one included but that’s not out of agreement. Using signposting when describing music is useful, but it can be lazy and often times misleading.
When Glasser released the astonishing Tremel EP earlier this year there were little traits as to where the artist might have been rooted, she could have easily hailed from Paris, London, Stockholm or maybe even Reykjavik. She is in fact a Californian-native, now Brooklyn-based, artist Cameron Mesirow. Her heralding single ‘Tremel’ is a chorally percussive song; layered and punctuated acrobatic singing over tumbling tribal rhythms; the follow on ‘Home’ brought in rousing sweeping strings – and this is the template her debut LP Ring is built on.
Primarily a vocal album, Ring is also massively rhythmic. On the album opener ‘Apply’ Cameron’s flexible operatic voice rides the wave of rolling drums and synth sounds; and where ‘Glad’ and ‘Plane Temp’ are devoid of any drumming the structured vocal arrangements provide the ever present cadence. ‘T’ breaks the album up, a captivating folky synth-pop number while the danceable ‘Mirrorage’ is stunning, if a little sinister. Throughout Glasser’s melodies are simple yet mesmeric and the embellishment of organic instrumentation (woodwinds, stings, percussion) adds resonating beauty.
Comparisons aside Glasser certainly isn’t without peers: Fever Ray, Zola Jesus and Bats For Lashes. And though she may be slightly less theatrical or dramatic than her contemporaries Glasser’s strength is elegance. Ring isn’t a difficult album to absorb, it’s instantly alluring, but it’s also a record that improves with time – a stylish record that isn’t chained to any scene or genre but one that will sound just as good, or probably better, in ten years.