Margaret Glaspy’s Emotions & Math

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Emotions and Math cover artAfter growing up in Northern California, Glaspy moved to Boston. With money from the YoungArts Program she was able to attend Berklee College of Music for a semester. As Glaspy explains it, “I wasn’t able to afford school after that semester, so I snuck into workshops and master classes at the school and started to write songs more seriously.” From there, like many great artists before her, she worked odd jobs to support herself while she honed her craft. After three years in Boston, Glaspy moved to New York. She found new success in the city.

After moving to New York, Glaspy released two EPs and has just released her debut full-length, Emotions and Math, on ATO Records. The songs on the album reveal a wide array of influences. It is easy to hear 70s singer-songwriters in many of the album’s tracks, and Glaspy has described Joni Mitchell’s Blue as as “set[ting] the bar in my mind that I’m always striving for.”

Prominent as that singer-songwriter influence is, it does not dominate the album. For each melodic, introspective track there is a prickly, dissonant one like “Situation” and “You and I” to match. The album is hardly incoherent, however. Glaspy’s extraordinary voice and guitar are the glue that holds everything together. The production uses a light touch, letting the vocals and guitar shine through.

Margaret Glaspy’s debut record is a multifaceted gem. The wide variety of influences come together and are projected as one through Emotions and Math‘s candi lyrics and driving guitar.

Emotions and Math is out now via ATO Records and available on Amazon, iTunes, and through ATO’s official store.