Friday, January 1, 2016

London Art Pop Duo GLASS Source Personal Tragedy For The Haunting "Broken Bones"

I last posted about London art pop duo Glass in October when they released their audacious (and bloody) video for their killer song "What It Is To Believe" and their just premiered their video for "Broken Bones" via  Notion Magazine and the two videos couldn't be more different. Jessica Winter and Scott Rimington mined very deeply personal material for "Broken Bones"- namely a traumatic time when Jessica's brother overdosed. Not only does her brother appear in the video but her mother as well. Knowing just a glimpse of the back story adds emotional gravitas to the song as Jessica poignantly sings, "Dear brother, you don't look yourself...get some rest and it'll be you're cradled in my arms... never thought the day would come again" and "I can't bear to lose you in a hospital bed....leaving fifty years early...don't just be a memory to me" but I am getting ahead of myself.

The songs production has a chill that wraps around you almost instantly. Starting on airy piano and Jessica's vocal performance that is pushed through a kind of 50's TV speaker filter adds depth and drama. Kudos to the heavy bass groove and stellar drumming. I absolutely love the drummer's (Nick Buxton) take on the beat. The accent / stall on the hi-hat is just lush and I love every move he makes throughout the entire song. The same is true for all the players involved. The rolling synth bass stalks and the groove on the chorus with the keys mirroring the vocal melody is so hooky. The entire song made me think of the best, catchy parts of so many artists from Depeche Mode to Kate Bush to Bjork to Erasure and one particular groove sub bass sound actually made me think of Michael Jackson as weird as that sounds. So many sonic flavors blended into their own sound, Glass is truly a force to be reckoned with. The fact that they dig deep personally and gives this genre a rather emotional, somber sound only adds to the allure.

The video for "Broken Bones" as directed by Mint and Lime shows an affluent family as comatose strangers. With the staid emotionalism amid the lush environment the feeling is sad and, quite frankly, a bit creepy. The rich poised look reminds me of cinematographer Martin Gschlacht. As I mentioned before Jessica, her bother and mother and band mate Scott portray this family and do a wonderful job. The video serves the song well but in the end it is the song itself that will play again and again in your head, maybe the most when the dark embraces you. In "Broken Bones" Glass has created a haunting sonic catharsis.
Robb Donker

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