Inside And Out
Dec 16, 2013
Issue #48 - November/December 2013 - HAIM
Living in New York City for the past three years, Cameron Mesirow has often been inclined to hum to herself while walking along the streets of Manhattan. More times than not the L.A. transplant is making it up as she goes, working out the melody to a song she'll later record as Glasser. "Something about it is really isolating," says Mesirow, sitting in her East Village apartment. "You have—definitely not your own sound bubble—but you feel less self-conscious because it's so loud and noisy."
Mesirow's sense of personal space and the anxiety she is prone to enduring in both public and private environments is an overarching theme that runs throughout Glasser's new sophomore album Interiors. It's a record filled with futurist, avant-garde electronics juxtaposed with focused pop vocals. Mesirow says the album is the result of not having enough physical space and retreating into the vast landscape of her own mind.
"I think the issue of space in all situations has been a source of stress for me a little bit," she says. "I'm scared of being too far away and being too close. My whole life all the sort of anxiety that I've had has stemmed from that. [Living in L.A.] my car was a little sanctuary. Everything was a little more spread out, but at the same time I was a little encapsulated because of always being in a car. And here it is more of the giant capsule of New York, which sort of tricks you into making you feel like you're inside when you're actually outside. The whole issue of space is so much more acute here...I get a little freaked about having to cross a wide street. The thing that gets me are those counting down crosswalks. I have insane anxiety about that. In that circumstance it just freaks me out. I feel so scared I won't make it. It's a crazy, irrational fear that I won't make it. And then what? I don't know. I never want to find out."
The follow-up to Mesirow's 2010 debut Ring, Interiors was recorded alongside producer and romantic partner Van Rivers. Describing herself as the designer of a house and Rivers as its architect, Mesirow repeatedly refers to her approach to the album as "deliberate." "When I say that it was deliberate I mean I would lose sleep over sounds," says Mesirow. "'Oh shit, what should it be?' or 'Should it be this or the other?' I was really extreme, almost too extreme in some cases maybe, but as a result it sort of landed on a more confident sound."
While she still copes with the tension of self-containment and embracing larger spaces, Mesirow says that Interiors is meant to put these fears on display, because they are very much a part of who she is. "It was a bit of a therapeutic experience writing about these special concerns that I have, but I would hope that the record communicates something more about my personality," says Mesirow. "I sort of gave a little more of myself and my actual feeling about my actual life in the record, which I did to just be honest, to just not hold back. I don't know if it's information that anybody actually needs, but I suppose when I'm a fan of music I sort of want to know who I'm listening to. If I feel something for it, I want to know a little bit more about where it comes from."
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