by Sebastian Ruan
Many electronic pop albums these days lack fresh production; the synthesizers and percussion are usually washed over from the previous year. However, Ring, the debut album from Cameron Miserow, who goes by the moniker Glasser, puts a spin on this presumption: the production and samples behind each track combine to make an interesting collection of songs. And with Miserow’s vocals layering and affecting each synth to mimic her yelps and howls, there is a lot to love about this up-and-coming musician.
The music behind the album is the first thing her audience can get behind: a simple bass drum is on the majority of the tracks, the bells, synths and sampling feel familiar, and each part of the intricate percussion entice you to see what else is going to be added. But after a few listens, you get the sense that there is a lot more to learn about this album and Miserow’s idea of the 9-to-5 day. Her lyrics are trivial, as are the titles to her tracks, yet through all the ohs, yeahs, and oo’s, you get the sense that this is one complex lady. The opening track, “Apply” is a bass-heavy, vocal effort, with congos gradually creating a tense setting for the song. She sings of sometimes having the inability to sleep, and ends the song with two minutes of her repeating “morning,” which eventually sound more and more like “mourning.” The constant effort for the working man/woman to wake up is sometimes a struggle that some of us just don’t know where to find the energy; for Miserow, waking up may be hard after a terrible night of sleep, but she gets up and gives us 8 more tracks of the sincerest electronic pop music to come out in years.
Following the opener is the first single, “Home,” with a descending bell loop while Miserow discusses the “naturally collapsing” objects around her - mostly ones that compose a happy marriage. It almost seems that her version of “Home” isn’t somewhere we can feel happy and secure, instead it is something we keep having to rebuild. And so goes the rest of her debut, anecdotes and lyrics about a daily routine, as each song blends into the next, like a better day at work, waiting to get back into bed for a better night of sleep.
The album closer, “Clamour,” is a gothic-sounding, jazzy, downbeat number, with Miserow occasionally yelling, “Yeah!” through seemingly endless melancholic “ohs.” And in the end, she leaves us with a baroque image: “The clamour in the frames will remind me that I desire.” The album doesn’t finish there, though; in fact, it never really ends. The closing seconds include an anxious drum that goes from subtle to alarming as the album (if you leave it on repeat) switches from the end to the beginning, which suggests that our trials and tribulations carry over to the next day. Miserow sums up this feeling of never-ending exhaustion in the slow-marching track, “Glad,” with, “While we’re marching in a circle, there’s a fire in your eye,” and, with that, we know she’s encouraging us to do more than the norm of a day.