I was talking to a friend of mine about music the other day, as friends do, and during this conversation I was told that I must listen to Margaret Glaspy. Specifically, I had stern instructions to listen to Margaret Glaspy: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert on YouTube. Before continuing to read, I highly suggest you take thirteen minutes and four seconds out your life to listen to this wonderful video. You will not regret it.
A few days later, I searched up “Margaret Glaspy” on Spotify, found her album, Emotions and Math, and I hit play. I was awestruck. It is such a deeply moving and powerful album that for the following week I was unable to listen to anything else. I must have listened to the album about fifty times. I knew that I had to get the word out to my fellow indie music fans about the revelation that is Margaret Glaspy.
Who is Margaret Glaspy?
Margaret Glaspy is an up and coming musician out of California. Attempting to describe Glaspy’s sound is an incredibly difficult task, but, if I had to do it I’d say that she blends elements of grunge-rock with a remarkably unique voice that offsets the electric guitar in the most soothing of ways. After the release of her recent full-length studio album, Emotions and Math, this undeniably talented artist is sure to continue to grow. Comparisons to the likes of artists such as Cat Stevens, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Alabama Shakes, and Joni Mitchell only strengthen the case for her potential.
The first two instruments that Glaspy learned to play were the fiddle and the trombone, and it wasn’t until much later that she learned to play the guitar. But when you hear Glaspy’s distinctly unique voice perfectly complement her guitar skills, you’ll soon understand why she was destined to play the six-stringed instrument.
As a young woman, Glaspy earned a grant to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston where she spent a semester until the grant ran out. The semester proved enough time for her to fall in love with the local music scene, so she remained in Boston for a while after dropping out of school.
It wasn’t until Glaspy eventually moved out to New York when her career as a musician truly took off. She started home recording EP’s for a few years until 2016 when she released her first full-length studio album Emotions and Math.
To date, Glaspy has released three EP’s: Homeschool, If & When, and You and I & Somebody To Anybody. It wasn’t until the summer of 2016 when she released Emotions and Math. In an interview with Annalise Domenighin of Noisey, Glaspy explains that she had recorded this new album three separate times, initially recording demos on her iPad at home. She later decided to take things a little more seriously and get some home recording equipment in her apartment in New York. During this time, Glaspy had been playing shows around New York City and must have been recognized by someone at ATO Records because she was offered the chance to make a record with the company and she ran with it. I have no idea what the two first recordings of the album sounded like, but Glaspy certainly struck gold at ATO with the release of Emotions and Math.
The album contains elements of blues and folk, with some good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll sprinkled in for good measure. Simply put, it’s a must-listen. Frankly, if this album doesn’t make you feel something, then I’m sorry to say that you, my friend, are a robot. More than just the music, the lyrics are deep and meaningful. It’s safe to say that Glaspy is not afraid to speak her mind – regardless what those thoughts are. Her songs cover everything from the trouble of loneliness, past relationships and shitty memories but somehow manages to remain optimistic about what the future has in store. However, her songwriting abilities extend beyond this territory, as in the song Parental Guidance which takes a step in another direction and explores the difficulties of giving advice to a lonely child.
Glaspy is set to play a bunch of shows through 2017 so be sure to check out the list of concerts on her website. She will be playing a crap tonne of festivals this summer – including Wayhome in Ontario – where her audience is sure to grow. Personally, I can’t wait to see Margaret Glaspy play live.
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