|photo by Ebru Yildiz|
There's times when you encounter an artist/band that appears from the very first listen to be tailor made for you. Something that speaks to you on the most basic level - the way they write songs, the way they're arranged, the instruments they play, all or just one of these resonates with you down to your very core. Brooklyn based singer/songwriter Margaret Glaspy essentially did that for me on first listen to the emotive "Somebody To Anybody".
And yet despite taking notice of her earlier, it wasn't until the release of her debut full length record Emotions and Math when I could gauge Glaspy fully as an artist that I felt that I could actually articulate what makes her so special, so noteworthy as a new singer/songwriter. While the badassery of the fiery kiss-off "You and I" immediately reminded me of Laura Marling or "Serpents" Sharon Van Etten, Glaspy is more than just your latest resident female singer/songwriter. Glaspy is a talented singer/songwriter able to weave common turns of phrase into creative narratives that still resonate with universal truth ("You Don't Want Me"). Glaspy is also able to match the intensity of her emotions (which run an impressive spectrum) with fierce guitar work. Songs like growling "Situation" and "Pins and Needles" which bristle with contempt and sputter with vitriol are paired with precise but harsh guitar riffs.
Emotions and Math is a feat of simple admirable songcraft. The songs are catchy and memorable slices of intelligent guitar pop with jazzy flavor and Glaspy crafts effecting narratives rooted in sincere emotion. The result is a set of songs at times languidly melancholic, at times stormily reactive that end up being ultimately empowering and unrelentingly enjoyable. Glaspy's main talent lies in her relatability and Emotions and Math never disappoints in that regard. Where Glaspy goes from this stunning collection is anybody's guess but her ability to invoke visceral reactions with a sense of effortlessness will no doubt continue to serve her well.
Margaret Glaspy's debut full length album Emotions and Math is out now on ATO Records.