Despite her Wilder Maker bandmate Gabriel Birnbaum's numerous attempts to rectify it, I was largely unaware that Katie von Schleicher was making her own delightful brand of pop for much of the time I've been covering Wilder Maker. While Birnbaum's assurances were enough to get her on my incredibly daunting musical to-do list, it wasn't until I saw her live last year that I finally got around to listening to her self-titled solo project. "Glad To Be Here" is her first single since last year's Shitty Hits and finds her in an in-between moments between records. Written on a writing retreat in her native Maryland, "Glad to Be Here" is a crackling, drum-heavy track featuring von Schleicher's trademark embrace of insecurity and vulnerability. "Glad To Be Here" gives us an inner glimpse of a moment of emotional freefall delivered with an understated calm. For all of the emotiveness of her cooing vocals, "Glad To Be Here" is startling cerebral. It's an encapsulation of the various ways your mind contorts to make sense out of things when faced with an unexpected outcome. And yet, von Schleicher handles them with an almost inhuman grace. She shoves aside her burning questions in lieu of keeping an amiable air. "I shook when you said: 'the words were a mistake.', you didn't want to stand by them anymore, didn't it feel wrong?" von Schleicher sings and it's the first instance she gives between the tug of war between her head and her heart. It's subtle but electric as von Schleicher's internal and external actions go from being wholly out of sync to meeting somewhere in the middle that makes the song's final lyrics: "If there's nothing wrong, I'm glad to be here" all the more resonant. von Schleicher's songwriting has always striven to offer the positive that comes from the negative and "Glad To Be Here" is no exception turning a tense moment of internal conflict into a touching celebration of humanity.
Katie von Schleicher's "Glad To Be Here" 7" is out May 4th on UK label Full Time Hobby. You can pre-order it here.