Her brand new album, Echo the Diamond, stems from a reconciliation with one’s woes, told through the lens of ‘90s-inspired, femme-fronted alternative rock. In her own words, “this record came from trying to meet life on life’s terms, instead of looking for a happy ending in everything”. This sentiment is clear throughout the album, where songs like “Female Brain” confront and challenge societal expectations of and perspectives on women; or tracks like “Hammer And The Nail” and “Turn The Engine” which illustrate the act of relentlessly trying, just trying, and never feeling as though your efforts are sufficient. Glaspy’s songwriting prowess is on full display throughout the album, allowing for contrast and moments of buildup or resolution that guide her words like a boat’s sail, all whilst heading straight into the eye of the storm.
Today’s show was filled with smiles, both from the audience and Glaspy herself. This show marks the first live performance of a variety of new tracks, which is an honor, to say the least. From the very start of her set, her raw, impassioned voice reverberated throughout the room. Glaspy’s lyrics are supported by a warm electric guitar tone, heavy bass melodies (supplied by none other than Julian Lage), and intentionally placed drum flourishes that – though they don’t need any help shining through the music. “What a pleasure to play for you all”, she said in between “Irish Goodbye” and “My Eyes”, while fans in the front couple of rows held up hearts with their hands, watching in awe as she poured her soul into her strum of each chord. For an album full of songs that discuss internal strife and societal pressures, it sure is fun to hear live.
Glaspy wields a guitar as her musical weapon of choice; gentle when necessary – like during “Memories” as she paced back and forth, eyes closed in contemplation mid-fingerpick – but strikingly powerful when the time is right. For instance, during her final song, “Get Back”, guitar stabs carried the chorus along as if to punctuate each verse. The grand finale came in the form of her voice however, as she used smooth and impressively powerful sustained notes to juxtapose the sharp and distinct nature of the track. You can catch Margaret Glaspy at Underground Arts on September 29th, but until then, be sure to listen to Echo the Diamond (preferably very, very loud).