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Through A Glasser Darkly

Dazed premiere the video for ‘Mirrorage’, the lead single from Glasser's debut album ‘Ring’

“It’s an image of broken glass – a broken hard surface that’s cracked but it’s bursting with colour. It’s both logical and emotional.” 26-year old Cameron Mesirow, better known as Glasser, is talking about the painting for her album cover, which was created by her friend Tauba Auerbach. Mesirow could equally be describing the music she makes as Glasser. Her mesmerizing debut album, ‘Ring’, seems to slip in and out of dream and emotional states, elusive yet inviting at the same time. The album itself is warm and hypnotic. Incorporating electronic flourishes, tribal percussion and intricate multi-tracked harmonies, the one constant is her lustrous, commanding voice that has drawn some inevitable comparisons to that other arty singer songwriter with an enviable vocal range, Björk.  

Dazed Digital: Both of your parents were musicians – did it feel predestined you would end up making music?
Glasser: It does feel that way. Our lives at home were so musical. Music’s been a passion of mine ever since I remember. Moving to San Francisco when I was ten had a big impact on my musical sense for sure. There was already a huge foundation from my dad, learning about hippie music. But then I got really into Bay Area punk – Operation Ivy, Lookout Records stuff. That was a bigger impact than hippie music.

DD: How did you conceive of the album’s concept?
Glasser: My first thought was that I wanted to do something that would have no beginning and no end. I wanted to make an album in a cyclical order that you could start at any point in the cycle and listen all the way through and it still be cohesive. And then I realized how connected these songs were in a thematic sense as well, incorporating an element of instability. It was this idea of flux and being okay with instability – it’s there whether you want it or not. In California, people are really concerned with spirituality. It’s where people go to change. Growing up there and becoming an adult there, I became fascinated by that culture and realized I don’t agree with this. Life is chaotic and a lot of the record is about embracing that.

DD: You describe yourself more as an artist than a musician – how do you approach making music?
Glasser: Part of that comes from insecurity. I always feel insecure about not playing an instrument. I never felt I fit in that well in the music community. It’s weird. I care so much about music and I love listening to it – it’s an emotional thing for me but I have a hard time identifying with musicians. In not being a professional guitar player, I don’t have an interest in creating something that has been done before. What I relate to in contemporary art is forward thinking – that makes me feel more inspired and excited. That’s a major defining characteristic of my music – making something new.

DD: A lot of the songs on the record seems to slip in and out of dreams and consciousness – how did your dreams inform the record?
Glasser: There are a few songs where the imagery was informed by dreams. But this dream thing has been harped on a bit in the media but it’s not just about dreams – it’s about consciousness. Another thing that’s left out a bit is memory which is just as fluid as a dream. It slips away from you. So much of our world is informed by these things and we have to rely on these extremely slippery qualities of our human nature. It’s this funny way we trust each other. I was totally fascinated by that and I think it’s one of the most comical things about us. We place so much importance on remembering things and memory when they are so changeable. With a lot of the songs on the record – that’s the instability I’m referring to.

Photography by Maria Eisl

Shot on location at IBID Projects

Glasser Tour Dates
February 17th - The Hope, Brighton 
February 18th - The Deaf Insitute, Manchester 
February 19th - Captains Rest, Glasgow 
February 20th - Cockpit 2, Leeds
February 22nd - XOYO, London