Ring by Glasser is as its cover art dennotes – a vast vibrant kaleidoscope, each colour representing a certain sound or instrument from the impressive array that Glasser, the stage name of Cameron Meirsow, somehow manages to cram into the nine tracks. These sounds range from pounding tribal drum patterns to the more simple sound of raindrops hitting the ground. These unusual mixture of sounds aren’t a rarity here and mesh together to create a inpenetrable wall of sound. But first things first, for those who aren’t in the know, Mesirow is a child of artistes (her mum was in a band called Human Sexual Response – some may know of them, as for her dad he’s currently a member of a performance art troupe called Blue Man Group) she first came to the music press’ attention last year thanks to the release of the Apply EP.
Some music publications have idly adorned the songs with the new generic crazes Witch House or Drag, but I dont think those non-descriptive tags do this LP justice. One could only liken her music to a cinematic landscape of epic proportions, each track made up of atmospheric, grandoise and unconventional arrangements resulting in her etheral vocal being the only sound people may find familiar. Speaking of which, her voice does bare originality but an attempt to avoid comparisions would be silly with Bjork, Kate Bush and even Joni Mitchell springing to my concious, if only for a brief second.
I say a brief second, because Glasser is a musician in her own right with obvious influences arising, thus resulting in the fact that Ring is a compelling, fully-formed debut. It begs the question why people aren’t being more daring and inventive in their experimenting with GarageBand – that’s the way most of the songs you’ll hear on this LP were constructed. Initially put together in a rough draft manner, then given the studio treatment later on with the minds of Fever Ray and Blonde Redhead producers Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid all on board.
However, even with this knowledge it’s still hard to imagine a gargantuan, goth-pop war cry like ‘Apply’ being brought to life on a laptop. It’s all abstract yelps, drony wave-synths and those aforementioned pounding tribal drums. To go back to an earlier point – Mesirow’s voice is without a shadow of a doubt the standout instrument here, it’s not only versatile but used in an truly innovative way. For example, listen to certain tracks and what may of been mistaken as a weird noisemaker, is in fact a collection of Cameron’s moans overlapped onto each other creating an unsettling foreground for her eerie pop anthems. Sometimes it’s used to coax out meandering melodies (see ‘T’) other times it’s used as a contrast tool to highlight the unorthodox camoflague of sounds (see ‘Treasure Of We’).
With no differenation throughout in terms of scale, there could of been a fear of everything becoming fairly one-note. But that’s a bit like saying it becomes tiresome because Glasser’s managed to create nine, close to perfect tracks, that all happen to have a massive scale of sound. And to turn down an enchanting and self-assured debut like Ring over a little niggle like that would be a foolish thing to do.