The first time FACT makes a call through to LA to talk to Cameron Mesirow, the singular force behind Glasser, we’re greeted with surprise. “I didn’t know…I forgot.” It was probably the latter.
It’s entirely in keeping with Mesirow’s personality, that free spirited appropriation of hippiedom that is particular to Los Angeles. Despite not being able to hold down interview times, Mesirow’s Glasser project has caught the ear of tastemaking labels Young Turks and True Panther, with records like latest single ‘Tremel’ and ‘Apply’ from her debut EP channelling her free flowing sensibility into a rolling GarageBand primitivism that’s pitched somewhere between High Places and Arthur Russell, Panda Bear and Bjork. Paired with her distinctive voice, it is electronic pop that seems to ache with a kind of half consciousness – a highly instinctual sound that comes from not having any formal training.
Currently working with Fever Ray’s production team The Subliminal Kid and Van Rivers on tour, Mesirow is putting the finishing touches on debut album Ring and enjoying the kind of blog fame which comes with being remixed by of Tanlines, Delorean and Jamie xx, with whom she toured when she supported the xx on a UK jaunt. If only people would forget the fact that she made a living as a commercial singer before her Glasser project got underway – it kind of spoils the vibe.
“I went through the many phases of punk and ska and hardcore and riot grrl music; there are many incarnations of a young person, things change so fast.”
Hi Cameron, what are you up to?
“I’m just having an apple actually. My favourite food is green apples. I eat them constantly, I love them. I just think it’s really incredible that it grows naturally out of the ground, or from a tree. And it tastes so good, what a wonderful coincidence.”
I guess so. Let’s talk about Glasser. It’s a solo project right?
“I guess it is yeah. Guilty. It is just me, but when I play live I have people that play with me, it’s kind of a different cast of characters every time. I have with me now Van Rivers and the Subliminal Kid of Fever Ray fame and they’re playing a show with me tonight, in Los Angeles. It’s actually my last show in Los Angeles as a Los Angeles because I’m moving to New York.”
What’s your musical background?
“My parents are both musicians or involved in music somehow, my dad’s been in his own band for many years and my mum was in a band called Human Sexual Response which was sort of an art rock new wave in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s. I’ve just been around music a lot in my childhood. I became, at a pretty young age, an active listener and consumerof music. I guess maybe I didn’t start applying all of that until my 20s, I guess I felt the need to accrue a bunch of knowledge and experience before I embarked on that part of my musical career. I was just a consumer for a long time and I felt proud of that and at the same time sort of insecure about only being a consumer and not producing anything to give back.”
What sort of stuff were you listening to?
“When I was a kid I listened to a lot of Motown and soul, basically what my parents were listening to, and new wave. Good stuff, good classic stuff. Then I got older and I was listening to rap and R’n’B; all of that stuff still sticks with me so much. When I got to be maybe 11 or 12 I wanted to be my own person and decided to go on the rock route, got really into grunge music and then punk. I was really hooked on punk and that was my identity. I went through the many phases of punk and ska and hardcore and riot grrl music; there are many incarnations of a young person, things change so fast.”