The third full-length from Margaret Glaspy, Echo The Diamond emerged from a deliberate stripping-away of artifice to reveal life for all its harsh truths and ineffable beauty. Like the precious gem of its title, the result is an object of startling luminosity, one capable of cutting through the most elaborately constructed façades. “This record came from trying to meet life on life’s terms, instead of looking for a happy ending in everything,” says the New York-based musician.
“The whole experience of creating it felt like effortless catharsis.” Produced by Glaspy with co-production from her partner, guitarist/composer Julian Lage, Echo The Diamond expands on the frenetic vitality of her widely acclaimed debut Emotions and Math—a 2016 release The New Yorker hailed as an album “in which pretty songs often turn prickly, enriched by carefully measured infusions of dissonance and grit.” This time around, Glaspy worked with drummer/percussionist David King of The Bad Plus and bassist Chris Morrissey (Andrew Bird, Lucius, Ben Kweller), recording at Reservoir Studios in Manhattan and embracing an intentionally unfussy process that left plenty of room for spontaneity. “I love music with a big element of risk to it, which was really the heartbeat of this album,” she says. “A lot of what you hear are the very first takes.” Anchored in the raw yet mesmerizing vocal presence and impressionistic guitar work she’s brought to the stage in touring with the likes of Spoon and Wilco, Echo The Diamond holds entirely true to the spirit of its lyrical explorations, presenting a selection of songs both unvarnished and revelatory.
As a result of Glaspy’s rigor in protecting her instincts, Echo The Diamond ultimately marks the glorious realization of her most closely held intentions for the album. “I’m excited to make music that doesn’t try to manipulate the listener into wishing for things to be any different from what they are. Ideally, I want my songs to reveal life for what it is, and to show that it’s that way for everyone.”