Glasshealer is an alternative band based out of Austin, TX, consisting of Hayden Steckel, Ernesto Grey, James Owens and Jared Marxuach. The band formed in 2018 and recently released Cranberry Stream. They mention their interest in experimenting with different genres and sounds, and point to artists like Bjork, Radiohead, and Sigur Rós as benchmarks. I’m a big fan of all the aforementioned artists so it was exciting to dig in.
Their music is kinetic, inventive and also catchy. I did pick up on the Radiohead vibes but there is also a lot more happening here. Bands like Animal Collective and Viet Cong came to mind during some of the songs. Perhaps most importantly is the vast array of sounds on this release. There is a mix of experimentation production but I also really enjoyed the horns, guitar work and more.
They get going with “Every Motion” which is where the band Animal Collective came to mind. In particular this song felt like it could have been off of Merriweather Post Pavilion. There are synths and a number of other manipulated samples or instruments which create a soundscape that is juxtaposed against catchy vocals. There are a lot of changes and each one of them immersed me in the song. The bass drives, the chorus soars and I felt myself thoroughly impressed after it was over.
“Shifter” is up next and we immediately hear inventive production from spliced up vocals, to a panning effect and much more. It’s top notch work and still manages to find prominent melodies which come from the vocalist. Lyrically, the song is poetic and ambiguous. He sings, “Influx of micro-particles seep deep inside my pores / Each language from all over the world is understood In balance between serene confusion, the cosmic web’s connection / Brings us nature’s final form.”
Those Radiohead vibes were most apparent on “Cranberry Stream.” That being said by the third song I was really noticing their own signature sound forming. “Empty Bottles” drives hard and fast and is one of the more straightforward songs. It veers towards garage rock at least in spirit but it mixes that with some great horn work and turns into a whirlwind of sound halfway through. The vocalist tears it up. Actually the whole band just rocks. The lush and serene “Hands” is the closer. The song is also epic and is the song that brought to mind Sigur Rós along with Local Natives. It felt like a great way to end.
This is a fantastic album that really isn’t getting as much attention as it deserves. Make sure to take a listen and share.
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