The Chicago songstress, Macie Stewart, sprinkles some musical magic with the release of her creative debut album, Mouth Full of Glass.
As the co-leader of art-rock band, Ohmme, one of the members of improvisation trio The Few, and a violinist alongside Lia Kohl, it’s fair to say Macie Stewart has seamlessly juggled a multitude of musical projects over her career. In her solo release, all of these experimental musical influences blend together effortlessly with Macie’s signature style, creating an album brimming with harmonious orchestral arrangements, poetic lyrics and other-worldly instrumentals.
Finally opens up the album, a beautiful concoction of dreamy harp and cello strings against Macie’s angelic vocals. The arrangement of the song is unconventional but carries itself well, gradually maturing as extra layers of sound creep in, adding a textural quality to the track. Garter Snake follows; a downtempo song with a pretty melody that cleverly combines indie-folk acoustic sounds with a classical saxophone arrangement. Mouthful of Glass is stunningly haunting, dowsed with the sounds of a reverberating acoustic guitar, pining violin strings and Macie’s vocals, which seem to fade in and out of the record.
The next track, Golden, has an air of 70’s nostalgia to it and you can really sense Macie’s art-rock background in its sound. The drawn-out synths pieced together with the melancholic cornet compliments the reflectiveness of the lyrics well, as Macie muses “Frozen time now forever a child, As I grow you stay just the same.”
The stripped-back delivery of Where we live really showcases the clarity and emotion in Macie’s vocals. It’s very much an indie-folk-sounding ballad, revealing another side to the artist’s style which adds an edge to the album. Ton Pome reverts back to the use of orchestral instrumentals, starting off with a gentle acoustic guitar solo that is met with an intimate cello arrangement. Wash It Away ends the album beautifully, a dazzling compilation of stentorian pianos and string instruments laid against contemplative lyrics.
What makes this album wonderfully unique is that, as a listener, you can’t predict what direction each song will take next. Macie proves she’s very accomplished in her experimentalism as an artist and deserves high praise for Mouth Full of Glass.