Live review: Glasser, Macbeth, London

The minimalist, modernist pop of LA’s newest sorceress comes up smelling of roses

Monday, October 11

Imagine if [a]Enya[/a] – the pot pourri of pop – was raised on Steve Reich and [a]Bat For Lashes[/a], and cut tunes to put you in mind of soft silk billows and eerie-white sun glow. Then stop imagining, and go to [a]Glasser[/a]’s ‘Ring’, because it really is one of the finest debut turns you’ll set needle to groove on all year.

Its creator, Cameron Mesirow, is in town from California to show off her baby this evening. She takes to a stage flanked by three men in white overalls, and melts back into the night after 30 minutes. But by then she’s already made quite the impression.

In flight our flame-haired debutante is all fine-china wrists and feral child-stares; a beguiling presence in earthy print dress. Often, she’ll echo the capricious flows of [a]Bjork[/a] in her vocal phrasings, segueing into non-verbalised coos and sighs where words won’t do.

Fittingly, given her West Coast extraction, Mesirow makes prismatic pop from what we might broadly term a post-hippy standpoint, cleverly applying pagan-like theories about the circularity of nature to her music’s shimmering, modernist flow.

‘Apply’’s the first tune to bend our ears, and it sounds like [a]White Hinterland[/a]’s spectral sheen with brassy synth stabs adding an undercurrent of dread. ‘Treasure Of We’ is chittering, fourth-world pop via an electric guitar impersonating a marimba. The first real highlight arrives with ‘Home’’s three-note woodblock slide, which beautifully distils Mesirow’s MO of extracting emotionally rich music from minimalist infrastructure. The other swoon-worthy moment is a stripped rendition of ‘T’ that quells the incessant, annoying hum of a Hoxton crowd predictably in love with the sound of its own honking chatter.

If Enya’s the pot pourri of pop, [a]Glasser[/a] is the Glade Plug-In. But as with so many things in life, the truth is so much sweeter than that.

Alex Denney