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Margaret Glaspy On ‘Emotions and Math’, Inspiration & Her Upcoming Tour

Written by Alexandra Houle on November 30, 2016

Coming off the recent release of her debut album, Emotions and Math, Margaret Glaspy is set to take on three massive continental tours over the next five months. The tours are already underway, with Glaspy spending the rest of 2016 touring Europe and travelling across the States early next year.

The indie-folk artist will soon embark on her first ever-Australian tour, kicking off her debut in March 2017. Glaspy will play alongside Australian solo-artist Slow Dancer on a series of headline dates, and will perform at Golden Plains Festival, A Festival Called Panama, and the Twilight at the Zoo series opening for Martha Wainwright.

We chatted with the singer-songwriter to discuss her recent recording of her first album, Emotions and Math, her upcoming tour, the unexpected decision to leave Berklee College of Music, and her plans for the future.

Music Feeds: You self-produced your first album, Emotions and Math which was released last June. What do you think that added to the creative process and overall resulting album?

Margaret Glaspy: In terms of making the record, I wrote all the songs and I produced it, so while writing the songs I was often thinking about exactly how they would sound on the record, which I like having be a part of the writing process.

What it contributed, what you hear, really, was all done in one fell swoop; the entire thing kind of came out as one unit. Producing the record was intuitive for me and I’ll produce the next one as well. It’s just part of my song-writing process as much as anything.

MF: I remember reading that Hozier, who recorded his own debut album himself in his attic, said that if he knew how big it would get he might have recorded it differently. Do you have any similar regrets?

MG: No, I don’t. I mean, I recorded the record a couple times in my house and then after that recorded at the studio and I think that we had all the resources that we needed and it turned out great.

MF: So what are your plans for your next album, is that in the works yet?

MG: Yeah, I’ve been working on songs as of late and figuring out the sound for it.

MF: I read that you went to Berklee [College of Music, Boston] which is pretty impressive. That’s one of the most well-known music schools internationally. That made me wonder: what lead you to quit that?

MG: Essentially I was in school, which was really expensive so I decided to drop out. I stuck around the area and I worked jobs and kept the same friends that I had in school and kept working on music.

MF: You’re consistently compared to classic songwriters like Joni Mitchell, so what do you think your music offers today that makes it more current and sets it apart from everything else?

MG: I mean I don’t know if it sets it apart from anything else. You hope that your music is unique or stands out and if it does then I’m happy for that, but I think I’m part of the lineage for sure. I’m not bashful about citing the people I have definitely garnered inspiration from, Elliott Smith being one of them… Joni Mitchell is definitely one of them. A lot of these songwriters are people that I totally come from and proudly am a student of. Now-a-days, I’m proud to be amongst the coolest musicians playing music right now.

I honestly don’t listen to a whole lot of contemporary music. I listen to a lot of older music, but that said I don’t really know where [mine] lies with other music at the moment.

I’m starting to discover a lot of new really cool bands that I didn’t realise were happening before and starting to open my ears up to music that’s being made now and I’m excited about that.

MF: As far as your music, one of the most compelling features of it is the honesty of the lyrics. Given that personalised nature, do you ever have trouble putting that out there and then having to talk about it?

MG: Well I don’t talk about the lyrics very much, so it’s not too much of a problem. But not all of the songs are written from my own perspective so it’s not too hard. A lot of them are songs that I wrote from other perspectives so not all of it is so desperately personal.

MF: You’ve got a lot of tours coming up. Europe, USA and you’ll be playing your first Australian tour next year with Slow Dancer. Is there ever a nervousness or apprehension that comes with playing new continents, new countries?

MG: At times, you hope that you’re being gracious, for sure, if you don’t quite understand the culture or you’re not familiar with the culture of the place you’re playing. You don’t want to be disrespectful. I think about that sometimes and hope that I’m not offending anyone.

And at the same time, you want to show up and represent what you do and inspire people and give them something they’ve never seen before. So you just kind of toe that line.

MF: And build the new fan base.

MG: Yeah, essentially.

MF: You’re playing the Melbourne Twilight at the Zoo series, and you’re going to be opening for Martha Wainwright. Are you a fan of hers?

MG: Yeah, I generally know Martha’s music and I’m excited for the show.

MF: And you get to support endangered animals too.

MG: Yeah, totally. I’m really excited for that.

MF: So aside from your impending tours, what can we expect from you in the near future?

MG: I’m going to be working on songs for other artists, which I’m excited about and I’m working on new music for the new record. I’m also working on making a ‘zine right now, that will come out next year, so hopefully I’ll be able to bring that to Australia.

MF: What does the “zine” entail?

MG: It’s kind of a surprise but overall: my own writing, some of my own collage, some things on fashion, and stories from the road.

Catch Margaret Glaspy at an Australian summer festival or at one of her sideshows below.

Margaret Glaspy Australian Tour 2017

Thursday, 2nd March
Perth International Arts Festival
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 4th March
The Foundry, Brisbane
Tickets: OzTix

Monday, 6th March
Newtown Social Club, Sydney
Tickets: Newtown Social Club

Wednesday, 8th March
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Tickets: Northcote Social Club

Friday, 10th March
Melbourne Zoo w/ Martha Wainwright
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 11th March
Golden Plains Festival, Meredith
Tickets: Golden Plains Festival

Sunday, 12th March
A Festival Called Panama, Wyema
Tickets: Official Website

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