Interiors, Cameron Mesirow’s second full-length release as Glasser, is a more considered, confident, and much more sharply personal album than its predecessor. It’s central themes are love and anxiety and the structural constraints of both in the landscape of one’s life. In the three years since Cameron released her breakout debut “Ring”, she toured around the world (with Jónsi of Sigur Rós, The XX, Delorean, among others) and left her California home for New York. Along the way, she discovered a new partner in producer Van Rivers (Fever Ray, Blonde Redhead) whose background in techno production added expansive spacial elements to her music that reflect both the looming, condensed architecture of Glasser’s new adopted home as well as the intricate internal worlds she conjures in on her own.
The tension between interior and exterior space fills the album. In architect Rem Koolhaas’ book Delirious New York, which Mesirow credits as an inspiration, the author suggests that New York’s massive, stoic-faced buildings are monuments rife with secrets. Interiors is Cameron’s attempt to exorcise and address some of those metropolitan secrets. “I thought a lot about the physical impositions in my life, and about the fluid emotional boundaries in my relationships,” Mesirow says. “There’s no limit to what can be said about these structures. I can’t help but live and work in them, exploring their many folds.” On “Landscape” Cameron explores the limitations of symbiosis in a romantic relationship. “Exposure” characterizes the alienation of life in an ever-changing metropolis as a “modern trouble” that no one feels responsible for but all complacently contribute to. A trio of shorter songs called “Windows” punctuate the production and feature some of the most experimental sections of music- windows being where the inside and outside nearly meet, providing partial glimpses of scenes from other worlds, but preventing contact. There is urgency pervasive throughout the record, both simultaneously to gain access to feelings or people as well as wanting to be released from them.
The instrumentation of the album is a mixture of synthetic and organic sounds, real strings, reeds and drums combined with programmed ones, a purposeful coupling of natural enemies. “I like music where you’re not thinking about what a specific instrument is,” she says. “An instrument-less quality. It doesn’t come from a band, but from a whisper in the wind.” As on Ring there are sounds used for unlikely purposes; vocals used as percussive accents, or melodic themes assembled from environmental sounds. The song “Design” illustrates this with Cameron’s own pitched-down vocals serving as a writhing bass line in the frantic depiction of lust. The Glasser we find on
Interiors is smoother and smokier, more confident and defined against an increasingly stoic electronic music backdrop. The effect is a paragon of sonic architecture–a soundspace that’s packed tight but never feels crowded.
Glasser has always valued a visual component to compliment the music. For Interiors Cameron worked with artist Jonathan Turner, a member of performance art group Yemenwed. Jonathan’s futuristic work establishes the visual palate for all the album’s visuals – all of the artwork, videos, and photos are the result of Cameron and Jonathan’s collaboration.
Photo credit: Jonathan Turner