Seth Glier (pronounced “Gleer”) recorded his new album, Birds, in an airy loft in western Massachusetts outfitted with a grand piano and floor-to-ceiling windows. Birds roost just outside those windows, on the roof of the converted mill building where he lives, and they became his sympathetic audience while Glier made the album. “I felt a tremendous amount of comfort talking to the birds,” he says “I’d check in with them regularly to see how they thought things were going so far.”
Birds is steeped in conflict and contradiction; there’s grief and loss, but also strength and resilience; doubt and dismay, but also a sense of optimism as Glier confronts heavy topics and wrestles them into the daylight. The album began taking shape after Glier lost his brother, Jamie, who died in October 2015, and inspired a TED Talk performance that Glier gave in 2016. The songs range from personal to political, and are bound together by the awareness that our world is a fragile place. Birds is Glier’s latest album in a burgeoning career that has included a Grammy nomination and touring with artists such as Ani DiFranco and Marc Cohn.
Influenced by his older musical brothers as well as The Head and the Heart, The Avett Brothers, and Van Morrison, Detroit based Ohly released his heartfelt six-song self-titled debut EP last October and included an emotionally-charged, introspective package of musical tales focused on relationships, loss, and growth. He brings Americana touches (like the banjo), but it’s the delicate, and emotional, vocal layers that enamor the listener.