As juicy and decadent as the fruit on the cover, glo’s debut EP From The Inside is dripping with multi-layered sounds. The duo is made up by Berklee students Dyami Wilson and Austin Macasieb, and they said their education, in part, informs their sound.
The EP opens with “Let Me Go,” a slow track that pieces together loops of sound to make a dreamy, sultry soundscape. “If you love me/let me go,” Macasieb sings, drawing out the Os in “go” before the song fractures into a frenzy of synth tracks. Receding back to a more subdued sound, the song ebbs and flows, like infatuation. Her vocal tracks are layered over to create harmonies with herself — it’s disorienting, but the result is stunning.
The pair creates music in a collaborative process that involves sending pieces of songs back and forth — from the instrumentation to the lyrics, to individual synth tracks they want to use.
“We’re both really into the production side of it…we’ll just sit there for hours picking out sounds,” she said.
“The lyrics usually come after,” Wilson added.
Their educational background has lent itself to producing electronic music. The music college provides intensive classes dedicated to honing a student’s craft, whether that’s in the performance of a particular instrument (in Macasieb’s case, the harp; for Wilson, it’s guitar) or technical aspects like sound mixing.
“I learned everything I know at Berklee. It’s come to a point where going to school doesn’t help me anymore,” Wilson said, smiling. He admits that they wouldn’t be making the kind of music he is for glo if it wasn’t for Berklee, but he also notes that now, time he could be spending creating more is spent in class.
Prior to this premiere, glo had shared their first single from the EP.
“[Dyami] sent me this track of guitar that he had recorded and said, ‘I need a melody to go with this, what do you think?’ And I remember just standing in my kitchen, because it was the only place I could record it, and coming up with a melody,” Macasieb said on writing “Distraction.”
The song is feather light in its entry with delicately plucked guitar ushering in a soft wave of synth over which Macasieb sings: “This is the last time we spoke.” It’s parsing the heaviness that accompanies a toxic relationship and juxtaposing it with mellifluous sounds that carry “Distraction” in a steady flow to its close. The song bursts open at its climax, with each sound building on the last to create a powerful wave of noise.
And that’s the exact issue the two are troubleshooting — for an electronic band, live shows can be a bit of a hurdle. It’s difficult to keep your audience engaged when all you have in front of you are laptops, pressing buttons and creating sounds. There’s no sense of place that separates the experience of a concert from listening at home.
“We feel like we’re pioneering with a thousand other electronic acts the way to run a perfect live show electronically,” Wilson said.
“We’ve been watching artists and studying them to see what they’ve been doing to incorporate the audience and not let the electronics and technology be in the way of interacting with them,” Macasieb said. “For now, we’re hoping to add more instruments and give ourselves more to do at our live show.”
Keeping in stride with challenging norms, when asked to describe their sound beyond genre they said “dreamy, hypnotic, and glowing.” This aligns with the vision glo has when approaching their songwriting.
“We definitely have this vibe that we have in mind whenever we start to write something,” Macasieb said. “The difference between us and other electronic bands is there’s always a different vibe in each song instead of just being an amped-up dance theme.”
The third track on From The Inside is a clear departure from the dance-laden EDM archetype a lot of electronic music gets miscategorized into. “Syrup” infuses some of glo’s formal educational background, featuring muted piano underscoring Macasieb’s own syrupy vocals. Reminiscent of The xx, it carries the R&B influences the pair said they draw from. Citing Alicia Keys and Frank Ocean as major influences, Macasieb’s voice is careful but pointed with each note.
It’s a leap from her harp practice at school, but she said she and Wilson work incredibly well together and enjoy the music they’re making. “A lot of people are doing it and a lot of people are doing good things with it,” Macasieb said. “The best part about it is the amount of women that are really getting involved with production, and there are so many here at Berklee.”
From The Inside comes out 4/30. You can listen to the album in advance of its release below, and be sure to see glo at their EP release show at Out Of The Blue Gallery on 4/23; tickets are available for $10 at the door.