That a band as good as the Glasses can spend nearly a decade toiling in relative obscurity is a testament to the quality of the Seattle music scene. The band, an outlet for the musical vision of my friend and NadaMucho.com co-conspirator Will Wagler, emerged in approximately 2003 with a four song EP and then made waves with a show the next year at Chop Suey alongside the Turn-Ons and The Lights.
Their 2005 debut album featured pretty melodies battling for space with loud, fuzzy guitars and earned kudos from local writer and Harvey Danger dude Sean Nelson, as well as the following praise from the Seattle Times:
“The Glasses (self-titled album) is a strong debut CD. This is a sincere band with something to say – and nice melodies.”
2008’s Story Problems saw a new lineup and Will trading vocal harmonies with new band mate Becky Cote. Music blog Fensepost said of the album:
“Oh yeah. This is the stuff that gets me excited. The Glasses are the style of indie pop that’s packed with male/female vocals and totally catchy vocal and instrumental hooks. I love the sound. I love the visual concepts behind Story Problems. And I love virtually every song on the album.”
Those exquisite hooks and harmonies are further evidenced on the band’s latest album, Love is Queer, which they’ll celebrate tonight at the International Pop Overthrow festival at the Mix in Georgetown. In preview, I chatted a bit with my old friend.
NadaMucho.com: Tell me a little bit about the new album.
Will Wagler: My friend Becky joined the band a few years ago and the songwriting really reflects that. There are as many boy/girl
vocal variations that I could cram into ten songs, actually. More synths. And we added some drum machines, too.
Content wise, the title says a lot about the album’s lyrics – the double meaning that love is both queer in the old-timey sense of the word (weird, off-base) and also totally gay. The bizarre nature of love is a recurring theme in just about every song.
NM: You’ve been part of the Seattle music scene for a decade. What’s changed during that time?
WW: So many “superstars” have crash landed. A band will rise up and be crowned the “latest and greatest” and then implode. Sometimes without even putting out a second album. Remember eX-bestfriends? Or Cobra High?
Also, it’s interesting to see what musical trend is being pushed. When I first moved here it was the summer of space rock: Kinski, Voyager One, and The Melody Unit were everywhere. Currently it’s the reverb-laden Americana type bands that are all the rage. Of course there’s other styles going on too, but that’s the big one around here.
NM: What can fans expect from your CD Release set tonight at IPO?
WW: These new songs are up-tempo indie-pop fun that make for a very enjoyable live show. We’ve got unusual percussion including the Afro-Peruvian Cajon, congas, djembe, and cymbols instead of a traditional drum set. A couple of songs blend this with electro beats for a very full sound. It will be good times.