Glasser is not afraid of sound—not of its shape, not of its heft, and not of its mercurial nature. She isn’t afraid to let sound carry on, giving space to each noise, pushing on the noise until it shifts and twists into something else. She wants you to sit through it, to follow every twitch.
Glasser is the stage name of Cameron Mesirow. Usually I try to stick with recently released music for our features, but I stumbled upon this album, “Ring,” and didn’t realize it wasn’t a new release until reading Glasser’s Wikipedia page. In fact, it came out almost five years ago. This surprises me. It seems so fresh and relevant.
A simplistic drumbeat brings us in, accented with something that sounds like a marimba. She keeps her words to a minimum, using mostly shorts snippets and phrases, leaving it up to the listener to bring her own meaning to the words.
The chorus is a single word—home—which she draws out. She lets her vocals stretch around it. The sound of “home” reverberates powerfully in her throat. Each time she sings the word, another layer of sound is added around it. First it’s some staccato “ohs,” and then it’s a countermelody. Finally, an orchestra of strings swells beneath the word until it becomes the biggest, most unavoidable part of the song.
Funnily enough, home happens to be my favorite word to sing and my favorite word to hear in a song—something about the way the o sound shifts to the m. (Seriously, I love it. I mentioned it in this post over a year ago.) From the sparse, surrounding lyrics, it seems as if some disaster has hit her home, but it’s never made clear if it came from inside or outside. Maybe it doesn’t matter, and maybe the point is that sometimes homes are frail, breakable things.
It’s a heartbreaking thought, and this song explores it with poignant expression.
If you like “Home,” also check out “Ring” and “Mirrorage” by Glasser.