February 19 @ Brudenell Social Club
theme looking at the diverse line-up.
Young studenty trio Adult Jazz, despite having the musical prowess to play switcheroo with a variety of instruments, play cerebral indie numbers that seem to chew away at one chord while impressively powerful vocals circle around.
Morden’s Sampha follow chart a similar linear course albeit with an entirely different nu-soul arsenal of electronic drumkit, keys and gizmos. The singer’s wonderfully mellifluous vocals are pure 80s, and his George Benson-esque stylings remain enjoyable even if the arrangements seem a bit splashy and vague.
Queen of the embellished chord tonight, though, is California’s Glasser.
Centred around the enchanting vocal prowess and songwriting talent of the waif-like Cameron Mesirow, Glasser are expanded to a four-piece for their live show, with a keyboard player, percussionist and synth guitar player cleverly conjuring up the exotic mix of sounds that populate her debut album, Ring. There are hints of Bjork, the Cocteau Twins, Florence and the Machine and School of Seven Bells in there, but Glasser’s sound remains very much her own.
That the band’s set is made up almost entirely of tracks from the album was always going to be problematic as there are only a handful of really punchy numbers on there.
Fortunately they are shrewd enough to save two of these – Tremel and Mirrorage – for the end of the set, so the abiding memory you take away is of the quirkily dressed Mesirow (tight bodice, chintzy hooped skirt, gingham petticoat and curious pom pom-adorned crested hat) singing bewitching melodies over thrilling tribal percussion.