Monday, 11 April 2011

Glasser Live Review

Photo by Holly White

XOYO, London, 22/2/11

'I feel like Janet Jackson at the Superbowl!' Unlikely words to come from the mouth of Cameron Mesirow (a.k.a. Glasser), but when your gingham petticoat rips on the heel of your platform clogs, what's a girl to do?

Riding a wave of critical acclaim in the wake of her 2010 debut Ring, a home-recorded ouroboros of interweaving vocals and ambient electronica, the 26-year old has fast established herself as a unique and captivating performer. Mesirow's ethereal vocals and striking outfits (tonight she is a Japanese warrior come pop-pom pirate) have led to comparisons with Bjork and Joanna Newsom, but her show is less about a natureres sensibility than a thoroughly contemporary sonic melodrama.

During set opener Apply, her soprano voice cascades over maritime foghorns before menacingly shrieking to the song's close. She resembles a sexually-powerful shamanic princess, her body convulsing to dissonant xylophones and timpani drum rhythms. On Mirrorage she is a glacial chanteuse, her vocals breathy and alluring over the Italo-influenced beats. Mesirow is at her best, though, when her vocals are accompanied with the merest of instrumentation. On T, woozy drunken synths frame a heartbreakingly self-effacing love song: 'I will cut all the blues, to decorate your room.' You feel that her headress is less a décoratif than a protective helmet against the aural depths she plumbs.

This review appears in the May Issue of Clash, out now.

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