album: Looking Through the Shades - Glitterer
words: Gabriele Esposito-Wilcock
Looking Through The Shades is the debut album from Glitterer, the solo project of Ned Russin, a member of Title Fight. Under his Glitterer moniker, Russin unveils a departure in sound that’s different from what fans of his previous work are accustomed to. This album combines electronic synths, guitar, Russin’s shouted vocals, drums, and some bass.
The release is a fusion of twinkly chiptune, synthesized music and mellow punk tones. And while Russin yells on this record, his punctuated vocals are more composed, emphasizing certain feelings to convey nuanced emotions.
On Looking Through the Shades, Russin offers a different sound than that of Glitterer’s previous EPs. While the previous releases had a deliberate minimalism to them, consisting mainly of synths and vocals, this record includes guitars, bass, and drums, alongside punched up vocals.
On “Perfect” Russin combines a twinkly and glowing chiptune riff with fuzzy guitars and brutally honest lyrics. He talks about his inner struggles with perfection and how that translates to his approach to interpersonal interactions with people. “I don’t believe in perfect / It’s something I don’t flirt with / So why do I try? / Why do I try?”. Later, he offers us a window into his personal life and feelings on “Again” singing the lines “But I slept through the alarm / And I woke up feeling wrong / I’m lonely lately / Again / Again”.
Russin acquires his album title on the track “Anxious Eyes” which combines a thumping baseline, powerful percussion, and a playful synth riff. He talks about the anxiety of waiting for something to happen and trying to predict it before it does, singing, “Sit and Wait / I’m not afraid / I’m not afraid / But here I am / Looking through the shades / I’m not sure what I’ll find/ But here I am”
Upon the conclusion of Looking Through the Shades, you’re left feeling that it’s okay to be angsty and emotional, even as you leave childhood behind. By expressing his emotion, Russin conveys that it’s okay to be frustrated and to express your feelings. We’re often quick to hide our emotions or to avoid even experiencing them, but this album gives you an excuse to embrace them, and to celebrate those feelings that ultimately make you human.