PREMIERE: Hear (and watch) Cape Wrath’s “Mercury”
Approaching the end of a familiar place in one’s life is both terrifying and exhilarating, but sometimes the unknown presents a thrill. Luckily, a challenging time like such was embraced by Philadelphia singer-songwriter Jamie Glisson, a.k.a. Cape Wrath. As fate would have it, the multimedia musician chose the moniker while touring through Baltimore with her former band—then in the throes of breaking up—when she saw the name written across a giant docked ship.
“I saw this magnificent destroyer, and it said Cape Wrath,” shares Glisson. “It just really resonated with me.” After logging some research into the expression, Glisson learned that Cape Wrath is a treacherous point of travel on the northwestern coast of Scotland. The name comes from the Old Norse word for “turning point,” so it felt natural to claim the name for the singer’s new project.
The Syracuse native, who has been performing as Cape Wrath for six years, transplanted to Philadelphia about the same she started this project. Again, Glisson finds herself on the edge of another turning point in her musical career. Her first LP, Inherit The Earth (2012), markedthe first in her Fractals trilogy. Glisson describes Inherit The Earth as “continuous movements of music,” forty-four minutes of vignettes about the lives of her grandparents. Its follow-up, Every Good Gift (2013), focused more on Nordic mythology.
Now, she prepares to wrap up the series with the release of the third LP, Soul To Keep. Well, not quite. Currently on its fifth installment, Soul To Keep is Glisson’s first “12 in 12,” or a mission to release 12 songs in a month by month process.
“It just made sense, the way that we’re recording. I wanted there to be something to show for it as the project progressed, rather than just ‘here’s the record, listen to it’ all in one shot,” says Glisson. “And it’s made a lot of sense, content-wise, with the songs as well as sound-wise because we’ve had a chance to kind of mature together and ruminate on how we work together as musicians.”
Beyond the album’s sonic development, this album also draws themes of devotion, cult worship, fundamentalism and psychiatric disorder. Below, the video for “Mercury,” (edited by Glisson, as all her videos are) was filmed at Graffiti Pier, offers a snapshot on the roles of forgiveness and alchemy on the album.
Soul To Keep, which enlisted the help of Will Stichter (bass), John Lattanzio (guitar) and Joseph Getz (percussion), will be released sometime in 2015. The album is being recorded, engineered and mastered by Alex Santilli at Spice House Sound. The collaboration on this record reflects influences of all the musicians’ interests, as Glisson shared she’s excited to be working with people who listen to music more similar to her tastes.
“I listen to dark instrumental music, like Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Mogwai, which is fun because the guys I’m recording with do as well, and I’ve never been able to incorporate that into my music. Now we’re getting into distorted fades, you know gritty guitars and stuff, which is cool,” says Glisson.