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Margaret Glaspy | Devotion

The singer-guitarist veers out of her lane for this artfully surprising sophomore set.

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THE PRESS RELEASE: “Brooklyn singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy returns with her highly anticipated new album. Devotion follows Glaspy’s first full-length since her acclaimed debut 2016 Emotions and Math and marks an entirely new sonic chapter for her. Glaspy has built a reputation as a skilled guitarist, and Emotions and Math was notable for its swaggering electric guitar sounds; on this new offering she shifted gears and built songs with electronic software as their base. The results — co-produced with Los Angeles’ Tyler Chester — are rich, sweeping, and melodic, a fittingly enchanting sound for a collection of 12 love songs. “It’s about letting love in even when you don’t know what will happen when you do,” says Glaspy. “It’s about devoting your heart to someone or something, against all odds.”

MY TWO CENTS: Pop music needs more individuals. More mavericks. More risk takers. More artists like Margaret Glaspy, in short. The idiosyncratic singer-songwriter and guitarist could have stayed in her nostalgically rootsy lane for this followup to her acclaimed 2016 debut Emotions and Math. Instead, she veers off into intriguing and vibrant new terrain. Downplaying acoustic instruments in favour of electronics and keyboards, she boldly pushes her songwriting and arrangements in surprising, artful directions slightly reminiscent of St. Vincent — but without sacrificing the romantic intimacy and emotional warmth that have always served her so well. Where she goes from here is anybody’s guess — “I’m off the leash, running wild and free,” she quite rightly proclaims. Long may she run.