Amid the driving energy of Fathom’s opening track, “Mariner,” a barely audible couplet calls out, “Deep and alone—You are, or have I been?” It’s the question underpinning Glass America’s sophomore release, available November 22nd. Recorded over a period of 18 months and with the addition of bassist Rafaell Rozendo, the record manages to capture the energy of the band’s live performance and the cohesion of a group of guys who have been writing music together in some form for almost ten years.
The tracks that comprise Fathom’s three movements represent Glass America’s most compelling, complex post-rock arrangements. There is the light, trembling rise of “Still” and “Swell”; the stark moan of guitars and gang drums on “Turning”; and the epic, ringing chorus and climax of “Though he slay me…”. These are songs that make Fathom a landmark album on its own and once again reveal Glass America to be a band that cares deeply about the narrative direction of their music.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the album is the final suite of songs, starting with one of the darkest tracks on the record. “The Veil” communicates the weight of doubt as it keels back and forth between heavy guitar rhythms and chilling, melodic tremolos. Like much of Fathom, not a word is sung here. On the strength of the song’s instrumentation alone, the building tension of the entire album peaks before drifting peacefully into “Canals,” perhaps the most satisfying, ethereal moment on either of the band’s full studio releases.
As with Redivivus, this is a deeply spiritual work, to be sure - but it’s grounded in an honest search for some sort of solid footing between our human lives and the distance of faith. Indeed, the genius of Fathom is that its only spiritual positivism is voiced in the record’s final and most stripped-down offering, “Che Sei Nei Cieli.” In light of their lived experience, the band rests in the one fixed point they’ve found.
released November 22, 2011
Glass America is:
Jared Deame- Lead Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Pump Organ
Micah Wilson- Drums
John Mirisola- Guitars, Vocals, Glockenspiel, Piano
Michael Foye- Guitars
Rafaell Rozendo- Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Additional vocals on tracks 2, 7, and 10 by Lacy Palmer.
Audio samples in track 2 performed by Morris Carnovsky, from The Psalms in Hebrew and English (Spoken Arts). Used by permission from the Arthur and Luce Klein Spoken Arts Collection, the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings.
Produced by John Mirisola and Glass America
Mixed by John Mirisola and Michael Foye
Mastered by Thomas Deyesso at MasterWork Sound Studios, Weymouth, MA
Artwork by Sergiy Barchuk
Art Direction, Layout, and Design by Megan Ott
Fathom was recorded from August 2010 to April 2011 at Rangeley Free Baptist Church, Gordon College, and in the community house living room.
We would like to thank every person who, directly or indirectly, made this recording possible, whether through encouragement or material provision. Specifically, we are indebted to our families and friends for their love and support, Lacy Palmer, Sergiy Barchuk, Megan Ott, Peter Morse, Megan Gnoza, Rangeley Free Baptist Church, First Congregational Church of Swampscott, Gordon College, Yale University, The Lonesome Atlantic, Caspian, and anybody who has ever come to a show, bought a t-shirt, or listened to our music.
Soli Deo gloria.
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