Margaret Glaspy (ATO)
Love as an imperfect endeavor is immensely prevalent fodder for songwriting, particularly when a romance is at its beginning or end. Rarely however are songwriters able to span a compelling love story from start to finish across an album as Margaret Glaspy has done with her current release, Devotion. "This record is very different from the last.” Glaspy explains. “It’s not about being righteous or all-knowing, it's about letting love in even when you don't know what will happen when you do. It's about devoting your heart to someone or something, against all odds.”
Devotion’s 12 love songs chronicle of the lifecycle of an affair sans sap and saccharine, and these tales of romance are rendered by someone who’s beyond the trials of first love. The record is an account by one who knows how love feels when they know what they want, what they don’t, and most importantly, when to let go.
The first half of the record is the beginning “you are a universe I want to travel” stages of a relationship, the second half crashes down to earth on realizations maybe this person isn’t so perfect after all, but ultimately that’s ok. Glaspy understands, “I’m learning that life is painful but you take the bad with the good; that love is hard but if you love someone, you make yourself available; that life is short and it’s okay to be sincere. I’m starting to be able to write about these things and it’s a feat for myself as an artist and growth for me as a person.”
Produced in Brooklyn by Tyler Chester (Jackson Browne, Blake Mills), many of the tracks are built from the synth up and are voice-matching in that they’re easy-going and upbeat. The moods are expansive - the middle of the record features the dance floor-ready “So Wrong It’s Right,” moves to an almost Amy Winehouse-esque piano lounge experience for “Heartbreak,” then settles into the coffee-shop vibe of “You Amaze Me.” The transitions throughout are smooth and the album is packed with songs fighting one another for the chance to be stuck in your head.
Glaspy has recently rescheduled European tour dates for Fall 2021 with more dates down the road. Devotion is available for airplay now, with Lightning 100, WYEP, WFIT, KTBG and WNRN just a few leading the way.