Glasshealer wants to keep you on your toes. The alternative Austin group, made up of Hayden Steckel, Ernesto Grey, James Owens and Jared Marxuach, finds identity within experimentation, embracing a myriad of sonic influences that hear them combining heavy noise rock with complex electronic productions. The group’s first single, “Empty Bottles,” released last fall, features dense guitars and a brass horn section with punk rock vocals singing of an apocalypse.
Now on the precipice of releasing their debut EP, Glasshealer is back with a new single, “Shifter,” that veers into a more electronic sound. On the track, striking and angelic vocals float above an intricate production that dissolves into reverberating shouts. The accompanying music video, directed by Jeff Kardsech, is a dizzying fever dream with surreal visuals defined by obscured faces, shifting colors and light in all forms, from candles to string lights to flames. The video starts in black and white with blurred and delayed motion that matches the stutter of the beat. Throughout, the image changes to different tints — blue, red, yellow, green — as Glasshealer dances and runs before impassive spectators. At the end, there’s a brief moment of clarity in color and motion right before the video bursts into a sea of rainbow lights.
“The music video interprets the song’s dreamlike lyricism and kinetic instrumentals through a series of hallucinatory vignettes and tableaus that crescendo into a grand finale,” Kardesch said of the distorting visuals. The effect is both disorienting and captivating, much like the song and Glasshealer themself.
Glasshealer’s debut EP, Cranberry Stream, is out on Feb. 27. Celebrate at their release show at Electric Church on Feb. 28 with Flora & Fawna and Modular Sun.
— Annie Lyons, KUTX Intern