Glasser: Getting crafty with a dream-pop pump-organ princess.
The creative impulses of Cameron Mesirow, the woman behind Glasser's dream-like folk-pop visions, are irrepressible, even when she's under the weather. She intended to be in the studio on the day of our phone interview, but with her voice shot, she's instead crafting puffy pieces of jewelry, origami, and tiny sculptures around her Los Angeles home. "I've been bored out of my mind!" she exclaims with a laugh, sounding anxious to resume her work.
Lately, she's been recording with Ariel Rechtshaid, producer for Cass McCombs and bass player for Foreign Born (whose frontman, Matt Popieluch, is Mesirow's boyfriend and joins Glasser for most live shows) and "expanding Glasser horizons exponentially" in the process. Working in an actual studio is a new development, as she used GarageBand to record her earlier material. "It's a lot more exciting and kind of scary, too… Suddenly, I don't know how it's gonna turn out," Mesirow admits. GarageBand still plays a part in developing beats and basic tracks, but for her album, she says,
"I'm starting out with re-recording all the vocals that I've done, and then collaging over what I've done musically—new sounds, new beats, new interruptions."
Although unsure when Glasser itself began, Mesirow says her first show occurred in late 2007 after about a year of songwriting. Her debut EP, Apply, was released last year on True Panther Sounds, and it features three originals with remixes by Tanlines, Lucky Dragons, John Talabot, and Delorean. Each track pulses with an eerie, psychedelic energy, as Mesirow employs her voice's Kate Bush-like elasticity as both melody and a key rhythmic device, infusing her already mesmerizing beats with quivering life. Bringing Glasser to life on stage has varied with the setting. Donning one of several costumes designed by LA-based designer Ida Falck Øien, Mesirow has been variously accompanied by Popieluch, Brooklyn duo Tanlines, and, at her EP release, a nine-piece band. One of the most intriguing Glasser-related performances thus far was Mesirow's ongoing Auerglass collaboration with visual artist Tauba Auerbach, which recently brought her out to New York. For several weeks, the two performed daily at the Deitch Projects gallery on a bifurcated wooden pump organ that they conceived and designed over the last six years, musically acting out the interdependency of their friendship. "I had every other key in a four-octave scale, and [Auerbach] had every other key that I didn't have," explains Mesirow. The pumps at each artist's feet provided wind for the keys of the other. In performance, they wore Øien-designed costumes that required each other's help to wear, including wooden shoes that fit together "like jigsaw puzzles" back to back.
Auerglass performance at Deitch Projects Gallery
There's an Auerglass editions show on the way, and Glasser's "Tremel" single is soon to be released on Young Turks, featuring a remix by Jamie Smith of The xx. The Apply 12-inch has sold out, but available now are "songboxes" she's fashioned: little treasure-chest sculptures filled with beads, bells, scraps of fabric, and digital downloads. Such inventive repackaging reflects both Glasser's ornate aesthetic and that restlessness so inherent to her work. "I have to have a lot of visual stimuli in order to feel creative!" she explains.
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