Release Date: Oct 8, 2013
Record label: True Panther Sounds
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Club/Dance
Cameron Mesirow's music is the kind of multi-genre brew that's difficult to categorize. As Ring, her 2010 debut as Glasser, demonstrated, there's a flair for Tanlines-style tropicalia that informs her dreamy, wide-open sound, but little else in the way of some grand, unifying approach. And while calling Mesirow an “electronic artist” is technically accurate, it's also misleading: The L.A.
Eerie, cerebral, female-fronted electronic pop was a major trend during the early 2010s, and Glasser's Cameron Mesirow was at the forefront of it with 2010's Ring. During the time between that album and its follow-up, plenty of acts mining similar territory arrived, but Interiors shows why she's still a singular talent. Ring's aptly named song cycle hinted at her interest in structures, something Mesirow explores further in these songs inspired by New York City's architecture, as well as the boundaries, or lack thereof, in relationships.
Cameron Mesirow’s second album as Glasser initially seems understated, which is surprising given the powerful impression she made on ‘Ring’, her 2010 debut. But when the glacial thump of ‘Keam Theme’ kicks in, a powerful narrative becomes clear. Mesirow suffers from spatial anxiety, but as ‘Interiors’ progresses, she lets herself explore more expansive territory.
With names like “Shape,” “Design” and “Window” (“I,” “II” and “III,” no less), there comes no surprise in learning that Cameron Mesirow, Glasser’s primary creative force, took inspiration for Interiors not only from her new home, New York City—you know: big buildings, isolation among millions—but from a book by famed architect Rem Koolhaas. Ambitiously creative though that may be, the results are mixed; while some tracks glisten with Eno-esque ambience, the forced wordplay on others (even delivered stunningly by Mesirow’s Björk-like voice) shatters the mood. .
Manhattan's architecture results from the most rational possible pursuit of the irrational. That's one main argument of Delirious New York, a 1978 book by Dutch theorist Rem Koolhaas that Cameron Mesirow has named as an inspiration for her second album as Glasser. It's also a useful frame for understanding the record, not only its specific lyrical concerns but also its general spirit.
Her stunning debut of world music-inflected electronic pop hinted at a potential successor to Björk's kingdom of mainstream-friendly experimentation. Now, Cameron Mesirow (the mastermind behind Glasser) has crafted a follow up as dense, contained and introspective as Rings was spacious, open and expressive. Opener "Shape" finds the explorative composer mining familiar melodic territory (every singer has their favourite intervals) over a beat some might describe as "bangin'.
Much has been made of Glasser‘s sophomore full-length Interiors being something of a concept album about architecture, with one-woman-band Cameron Mesirow namechecking Rem Koolhaus’ manifesto Delirious New York as a jumping off point for her new album. For anyone who knows anything about Glasser, the artst-fartsy conceit of Interiors should come as no surprise, considering how Mesirow has been in the vanguard of high-concept pop experimenters the past few years, along with peers like Grimes, Julia Holter, and Julianna Barwick. Yet while many of Mesirow’s contemporaries have brought out some more listener-friendly elements from their aesthetically rigorous approaches, Glasser seems to have gone in the other direction, as Mesirow has only refined her act further on Interiors by going more abstract and theoretical with her mixed media homage.
In the August/September issue of Interiors, Editor-in-Chief Arianne Nardo dedicated her letter at the front of the magazine to an argument for the importance of fashion and interior decoration. She wrote: “surface evaluations are deeper than they look. How we dress and how we live are among the only decisions we can make without permission. Two separate identities free from the autocratic parameters of work life (or love life), these are entirely your call.” This is, of course, patently untrue.
All that glisters is not gold. Or so William Shakespeare wrote. And when it comes to the second full-length from American electro fiends Glasser, The Bard is most certainly being proved correct. It’s a shiny little thing. It certainly sparkles. And its glittery glam-pop is recorded by techno ….
Cameron Mesirow has yet to top the first track of her debut record as Glasser. Built upon a humble drum roll and a droning synth note or two, ‘Apply’ glowed through the towering layers of harmony performed by Meisirow as a choir of one. She may have arrived on the sudden raft of artists who loved going a capella with a loop pedal, but the sheer poise and crystalline clarity of her vocal elevated this song into rapturous realms.
LA-based electronic auteur Cameron Mesirow, aka Glasser, made one of this decade's most intriguing and original debut albums in 2010's Ring. Lazily drawn comparisons to Björk and the Knife were telling insofar as they placed Glasser in an uncategorisably unique lineage rather than drawing direct sonic parallels. Glasser's follow-up is a calmer affair: on Interiors, she deploys her beautifully textured, constantly surprising arrangements like gentle ripples on water.
At this year’s FYF Fest in downtown Los Angeles, Cameron Mesirow, accompanied by a percussionist, performed to an overflowing audience in the ground’s one tent-style stage. Her setup, seemingly influenced by the textures and vocal-driven nature of debut album Ring, proved inadequate for a peculiarly large audience with a penchant for EDM. Unbeknownst to this audience, Glasser would be releasing a slew of new, more danceable songs with her next LP, Interiors, in the coming months.
It’s a mirage. ‘Interiors’, Cameron Mesirow’s second album as Glasser, is littered with straightforward, single-worded titles; concrete nouns; notions that hide what’s really inside this record. At the heart - and boy does it possess one - is an emotional wrench, a conscience-splitting ode to indecision, anxiety and downright misery.So, title-wise, forget ‘Landscape’, ‘Design’, Window’ and all its three parts.
opinion byBEN BROCK WILKES I was surprised to read that Cameron Mesirow recorded her second full-length as Glasser in a windowless Manhattan studio, rather than in the isolated Swedish lakeside home made entirely of windows that I had imagined while listening. Perhaps my preconceptions of the artist’s creative context undervalued the title she came to adorn the album with, Interiors, but there is absolutely nothing that feels contained or walled in about this record. There is a remarkable precision and articulate clarity to every tone crafted to be a part of Mesirow’s bizarre networks of texture and melody – perhaps in an attempt to hem in and direct her debut’s display of rawer power.
“Bitter Rivals” is the third album by Sleigh Bells, the New York duo — the singer Alexis Krauss and the guitarist-producer Derek Miller — that emerged fully formed four years ago with a straight-ahead concept: pulverizing guitars, block-rocking bass, sweet but durable vocals. It was music for construction sites and M.M.A. bouts, shockingly intuitive and fresh.
On Ring, the debut album from Cameron Mesirow’s Glasser project, she expanded her electronic music from a simple bedroom-based Garageband venture to an album that was rich with tribal percussion, electronic swooshes and the odd foray into the quasi-mystical world inhabited by oft-kindred spirit Bat For Lashes. It was electronic music created by someone with a slightly hippyish, almost analogue acoustic, heart and although densely-layered at times, revealed a voice that marked Mesirow as one to watch. And it’s the vocal aspect aspect of Glasser’s music that’s been pushed, for better or worse, to the fore on sophomore release Interiors.
Coverage of Cameron Mesirow’s debut LP as Glasser amounted to something of a crash course in how not to write about female musicians. “There really are some weird women out there right now,” said the BBC’s Greg Cochrane in his review of Ring, seeming to take “weird” to mean “not in the charts”, or perhaps “artistically autonomous”, before throwing in a Kate Bush comparison for good measure. Pitchfork’s Joe Colly, meanwhile, littered his review with sounds-likes, some merited – Bat For Lashes, whose sense of high drama Mesirow shares in places; Joni Mitchell, who she cites as an influence – others seemingly linked only by their number of X chromosomes (Zola Jesus anyone?).