Glass Heart String Choir – California (2021)

Influenced by the likes of Nick Cave, Jeff Buckley and Damien Rice, US-based Glass Heart String Choir enchant us with their surreal sound. Described by Atwood Magazine as dwelling “…in a beautiful, humbling darkness” with a “…deep, lush and textured sound” (quote from Northern Transmissions). Now, you can take these quotes and spread them near and far, but I know that feeling the tender songs of Glass Heart String Choir is more captivating than any words can express. Hmm, perhaps that might not have been the best thing to say considering I’m about to review ‘California’. I’ll give it a go anyway.

Combining rich vocals with an orchestral string section, Glass Heart String Choir captivates the power of an orchestra with the intimacy of a delicate art-pop. Following their otherworldly single ‘Affliction’, Ian Williams (vocals) and Katie Mosehauer (violin) adopt a smoother, softer and more haunting sound in ‘California’. Showcasing their ability to transition from a symphonic folk track to harmonic pop singles, Williams and Mosehauer bring innovativeness and eclecticism to the stagnating pop scene.

True, there is a difference in the overall sound of each song but the shiny interwoven thread is the ethereal instrumentation and enchanting vocals. Simplistic and completely “barebones”, ‘California’ effortlessly draws out vulnerabilities, insecurities and melancholic memories in the sound and lyricism. The thing is, while the tone is melancholic Glass Heart String Choir add hopefulness to the cinematic soundscape. Reflective, sentimental and sincere, the track is spine-chilling but with a comfortable undertone.

In addition to the single, Glass Heart String Choir released an official music video for ‘California’. Mystic and otherworldly, this video adds a tear-jerking visual element to the already heart-wrenching song. With bright fairy lights encircling the singers, but without being too harsh, there is a softness in the woods (watch the video to get this). The addition of the hazy figures of the musicians singing and playing the violin, the video enhances a simplistic beauty both audibly and visually. If you want something soothing for the eyes and soul then check this out! Plus, there aren’t any strobe-like lighting effects so it is safe to view for people with photosensitive epilepsy.

For more from Glass Heart String Choir check out their official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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