Christina, Hollywood 02/04/2014
Cameron Mesirow, the electronic-based art-pop vocalist who records as Glasser, works well within defined parameters. For her 2010 debut, Ring, she composed her music within a traditional literary ring structure where ideas, and in her case, sounds, were arranged in a symmetric order for emphasis. For her sophomore release, Interiors, the subject is architecture. A steely precision presides over densely layered electronic soundscapes and soaring vocals on tracks with names like “Shape,” “Design,” and “Landscape.” Through this framework, Mesirow’s lyrics are able to explore the less structured and highly unpredictable nature of human relationships. In the track, “New Year,” Mesirow coos, “Used to know the way he moved around, and the smell of his shirts, and the feel of his body, hard to comprehend, it happened that way, maybe I’m wrong, but I think we had something.” While this album’s façade may come off as cold and rigid, its interior reveals a heart that beats and can be broken.
Glasser makes contemporary art pop—quite literally, as Interiors sounds piped in from a museum of modern art, its themes intellectual as well as personal. The album muses on the spatial, partially inspired by Cameron Mesirow’s move from L.A. to New York. “My home has no shape … but it keeps me safe” she sings on “Shape.” “Design” mathematical synths wouldn’t sound out of place in an ’80s instructional video, but Mesirow grows more emotional as if to counteract the icy nature of her music, allowing her voice to quiver, swoon and snarl across an otherwise tasteful setting. Mesirow’s art-director approach to sound and song titles seems pretentious on paper, but her manner appears to be a means to filter her emotions—“Landscape” feels like waking up and seeing the world as an alien place, given Mesirow’s bewildered delivery and the disconcerting nature of the song’s music, which manages to be catchy with little resolve; “Window I” sounds like music made on an old computer, appropriate for reducing a lover to a mechanical object; and “Divide” pines for a time when love wasn’t a computer file, when idle moments defined who we are, she sings. Mesirow occasionally borrows from the Bjork catalog, but for the most part she succeeds at sounding like her own artist and crafting her own mood and meanings—that of loneliness and understanding emotion in an increasingly automated world.