Glassio has been releasing music since 2015, but today, he brings us his debut LP For the Very Last Time. Starting out as a duo, Glassio now only features Queens-based songwriter-producer Sam R. He describes his sound as “melancholy-disco”. But in this new album, Glassio takes risks and branches out into other sounds. One can hear the inspiration from artists and bands like Paul McCartney and The Beach Boys to Underworld.
Throughout the album, Glassio still keeps to his bouncy electro-pop sound. But he too experiments with gothic dreampop with organs, layered choir-like vocals, and rumbling drums. Other songs have a spacey synth, ringing through one’s ears to make it feel like one is floating on air.
He pulls experiences from his own life as well as refers to our disordered world and government. The album carries this overall theme of loneliness. Whether it’s at a party on the dance floor or at the end of the night when the bars start to close, there’s a tinge of sadness that always seems to follow.
Read below to learn more in-depth about each track from Glassio himself.
White Wine & 909s
I’m having a hard time remembering when I wrote this song. I was on a plane listening to voice memos and came across it. I had recorded it sometime in December of 2018. I was playing what sounded like an organ in the voice memo and singing the melody to myself. It just felt like a strong opener to me. Dansheveskya, who sings on a number of the songs, sang this one with me. […]
I wanted this intro to feel like a heart that was about to explode with emotion. The title is an homage to two of my favorite things in life: I love wine, and I love electronic music. Both have helped me through a lot of shit. It’s also an obvious allusion to 808s and heartbreak. The lyric “don’t you make me come home again” is about becoming an adult and leaving a toxic family. The character is destined to make a life for themselves away from people that weigh them down. This was an exciting start to an album for me.
I wanted the production on this to mirror the visual of a flower blossoming, a building collapsing, or cracks in the earth opening. This song is all about intense change, whether it be political, social, or emotional. In some ways, it’s loosely about me being a musician in New York, and coming into my own -- allowing myself to accept the melodies and ideas I hear with an open heart. […] Production wise, I wanted the synths in the beginning of the song to sound like clocks ticking and to amplify the idea in listeners’ heads that time is moving at a breathtaking pace.
Summertime (Kept The Blues Away)
Dance music that draws you in with darker lyrical subject matter has always been alluring to me. There’s nothing more intoxifying than being on a dance floor and recognizing a darker, introspective lyric tucked underneath what, on the surface, appears to be a jubilant track. […] I wanted to tap into the restlessness people feel when they go at night, for what very well may be the very last time. That could be for a number of reasons, but I wanted to place this song before the song “The Government” and open it up with chaotic everyday sounds to really catapult the idea that short-term gratification is integral to nightclubs making any money in the first place.
This one is all about a group of friends who get together for an end of the world dinner party before a nuclear fallout. This was loosely inspired by the heated moments between Trump and Kim Jong Un back in 2017 but I think I wanted to more so capture how chaotic and intense things have felt in the past 5 years. […] I directed a music video for it back in November of 2019 that may honestly never see the light of day at this point. The video involves me and a number of musicians in Bushwick having a final hoorah at my apartment all dressed up in hazmat suits, wearing face masks. None of us had heard of COVID-19 at the time, and I had planned to release the video after the album release, but I just don’t think it’s a good idea after everything that has happened since.”
Are You Having Fun Without Me?
This was one of the first songs I had written for the album. I wanted to channel some of my shoegaze and indie-rock influences on this one and meld those together with the type of electronic music I’ve been making for the last several years. The vocals at the end rotate and roll over each other in a way that I’ve always wanted to achieve. […] I love when multiple melodies and lyrics intentionally fight for space and that’s what I was trying to do with the ending here. […] The character in the song is, through the lens of a heartfelt breakup song, realizing they were to blame all along (even though the song is very much them blaming the other person for most of the verses). I wanted to tap into that dichotomy with this song and for it to be the halfway point in the album. The lyric “I want to change for the very last time,” is stubborn. I liked the idea of stubbornness being the last emotion on Side A.
One of These Days
This was written on the subway crossing the East River at sunset. I was humming to myself and thinking up words. I finished the song later that night. I had a few records in minds while working on it: “Band On The Run” by Paul McCartney and Wings, “All I Want” by LCD Soundsystem and ``Born On A Train” were the three that circulated the most. This song is about telling your story and breaking free from abusive, toxic people.
Almost Forgot How To Play Guitar
Guitar was my first instrument. I began writing songs on guitar in Middle School and my parents seem to worry that I don’t care for it much anymore. Keyboards really just felt more natural. I taught myself piano and I think because of that, I have a more intimate relationship with it as opposed to guitar, where I I had to study classical for years.
I wanted to capture the feeling you get when you’re incredibly emotional at 4am or at a bar by yourself at the end of the night and your mind just explodes with nostalgia. I used to write most of my lyrics at bars and would think of all my music video ideas at bars.
For this one, I actually picked up the guitar for the first time in years and wrote it in about 15 mins lying on my studio floor. […] My friend Anna (Daneshevskaya) sings pretty much all the vocals. We stacked her vocals up so she could feel like a giant choir, and I sang in an almost muted, underwater-esque autotune. I liked the dichotomy between those two characters a lot.
Nobody Stayed for the DJ
[…] There’s this moment of sadness that hits you when you’re in that position where you say to yourself: what the hell am I doing with my life? I wanted to write a semi-hilarious/semi-tragic song about a DJ having an existential crisis because nobody showed up to their gig.[…] As the song progresses, it becomes more joyous. The character has a moment of realization and bounces back, with more energy than ever. It’s all about resilience. If you keep playing to empty rooms, over and over, you at least know that you are doing what you love, and nothing can make you feel stronger knowing that.
A Million Doubts
One of my closest friends and collaborators Charles Fauna and I were in the studio one day and began working on this track. It felt lullaby-like and the chord change in the chorus hooked us in. I had it in my folder for many months and began working on it again for what I was planning to release as a side project debut EP. It just felt right to include on the album. It felt really spiritual, and loving. I went up to my roof at night in Brooklyn when Ariel Loh and I finished the mix and just listened to it over and over whilst staring at the full moon, thinking of people in my life that I don’t see often but think about everyday when I work hard at something and wish to make proud.
Make No Mistake
I’m a big fan of many UK electronic duos, particularly Underworld, Pet Shop Boys, Massive Attack, Chemical Brothers and that whole wave between synthpop and big beat. I found a voice memo on my phone of me singing the melody of the verse over a string ensemble synth and decided to take that and turn this into a really intense dance track that feels like a rollercoaster. […] I liked the idea of a sweeter, lullaby-like rave song.
This just felt like a perfect closer to the album. It starts off with a recording of my late grandmother and I when I was very young and crying. I ripped it from an old family video. The keyboards fade in soon after -- I was trying to channel the organs on Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys with this and also the keyboard sounds of the NY synth duo Suicide. Their keyboard sounds in particular were a huge inspiration for this. I wanted to feel like a Suicide x Brian Wilson collaboration. I’m not really sure what the lyrics are about. I just know that I really liked the lyric “please don’t let them turn their lights to blue,” and thought it would be a good idea to overlap that at the very end with “I’m gonna change for the very first time.”