In stark contrast to the material on her debut, the sprawling “Glares” is a sign of more organic things to come: more vulnerable, more human, more broken. It’s the kind of long piece that, Alessandra De Rossi suggests, will make you thankful you saw it through.
A full year after the reissue of her debut, ADR is whetting her fans’ appetites with new material. Today, the remastered version of the meditative and sprawling “Glares”—the advance single off of her sophomore effort De-re-al-i-za-tion—says hello.
In now-speak, one can say the track from the musician and film creative is “a mood,” which partly means it’s relatable, but also partly means it’s an insular wallower. That seems like a paradox but no, no?
Because really, for Alessandra de Rossi, artistic push-and-pull is par for the course. The characters she plays, for instance, have an outward manic energy countered by an emotional center that’s closer to Zen recluse than indefatigable party girl.
“Glares” is a distillation of that pervading contradiction.
“I felt like I needed a happy-sounding track because the album was ‘somber,’ according to friends who got to hear it,” De Rossi says of the track. A last-minute addition to De-re-al-i-za-tion—originally put out in 2016, and whose remastered reissue is forthcoming in a matter of months—the tune is representative of the musical values espoused by said record: a sense of deliberation, of letting things bubble on the surface, but also a sense of deliberateness, of calculation amidst fear and trepidation.
Which is to say, a kind of persistence when it comes to laying the groundwork.
In stark contrast to the material on Adrift, “Glares” is a sign of more organic things to come. In other words, a more palpable humanity. And whereas the 2012 record had perfunctory escapist undertones, this one revels in brokenness.
De Rossi’s barer, more vulnerable vocal, for one, lets the seams show. There’s also more live instrumentation, most notable of which is the beautifully understated fretwork by celebrated engineer Jean-Paul Verona, whose credit should ring bells for many, most especially for the trove of Wombworks-recorded music he’s worked on.
While Adrift served as a journal of recovery and rediscovery, “Glares”—along with the rest of the follow-up record—sees Alex settling into new skin, and relishing every second of it with her friends in tow.
“This took the shortest time to create, because JP [Jean-Paul Verona], [keyboardist] Chris [Valera], and I were already connected on a deeper level. It seemed like we were all just so synchronized that day,” the My Amanda filmmaker says of the six-year-old session, adding that collaborating on a release for the good part of four years (2012 to 2016) is “a long time for anyone to not see someone’s soul.”
De Rossi also describes the upcoming record as “definitely darker,” owing to being borne of “too many heartaches, unfinished business, [and] sickness,” on top of the usual machinations of “love, friendship, and career.”
But beyond literary subject, “Glares” is a mighty fine musical object driven by propulsive beats, sparse instrumentation, and a tasteful crescendo that, De Rossi hints, is its musical anchor. The end is in itself an end—which is to say its looming fate—which, at seven (sleep-inducing, she says) minutes, swathes and cradles you into forgetting it will ever come.
“I like long songs, ones that make me feel thankful I saw them through. What a wonderful ride.”
Don’t take her word for it. Spin “Glares” today.