FROM: NEW YORK | FOR FANS OF: TITLE FIGHT, FIDDLEHEAD
WORDS: CHRIS PRENATT
Ned Russin is no stranger to the world of music. The 29-year-old has been in several groups like Disengage, Bad Seed, Liberty, and most notably, Title Fight. When that group quietly faded into the background around 2016, Russin decided to do something with his spare time.
“I started writing songs with this little MIDI keyboard that I bought probably like four years ago now,” Russin said as he pondered the origins of his latest project, Glitterer. He wrote a bunch of songs with it but couldn’t come up with any lyrics. Those songs and his keyboard were eventually shelved for two years.
A sudden desire to write music would spark the fire that would help bring on the creation of Glitterer. “The easiest way that I could figure out how to do that was to get the keyboard out and to program some drums, and that turned into like using some weird synth voices and stuff and messing around with that. It just kind of became a band out of those simple things.”
“Everything about the record, like the title, the cover, the aesthetic, all came to me all at once”
Glitterer officially began in 2017 with Russin self-releasing his debut album Glitterer. Under this name, Russin has released one EP and two full-lengths, the newest one being ‘Looking Through The Shades’. So far, Glitterer have done shows with Balance And Composure, Angel Du$t, and Elvis Depressedly, played the Sound And Fury festival back in July, and collaborated with fellow indie musician Alex Giannascoli aka (Sandy) Alex G.
Speaking of Giannascoli, he helped co-produce ‘Looking Through The Shades’ alongside Arthur Rizk (Ghostemane, Pissed Jeans, Trapped Under Ice). Russin first met Giannascoli in 2015 through music and have since formed a friendship, which had the two of them touring together back in 2015 with Russin’s past band Title Fight. “I started working on [Glitterer] and asked him if he’d be interested in working on the last EP that I did, a record called Not Glitterer, and he was down.” That EP was done entirely digitally with the musicians sending each other stuff and working on it online. This latest album, however was done in one place over an extended period of time. He said that working with Giannascoli in person helped them do things they couldn’t do before.
‘Looking Through The Shades’, the first album Glitterer has released on Anti-, a sister label of Epitaph Records, is a fascinating record spanning 14 songs. Tracks like the indie rock/pop number “Destiny”, the grungy dream pop “Two”, and the album’s distorted opening song “The Race” are some of the best songs to come out this year. On the meaning behind the album’s name, Russin said, “Everything about the record, like the title, the cover, the aesthetic, all came to me all at once. ‘Looking Through The Shades’ is kind of this idea about observing, and I think it kinda has in my mind the connotation of a kind of paranoid observation of a kind of uncertainty of the desire for some sort of security behind whatever barriers are between the viewer and the viewed. The lyric and the cover are trying to relay that idea.”
“Glitterer is the rejected title of a book that never came out”
Compared to his past endeavors, Glitterer is like nothing else he’s ever done. Russin stated that the sound and approach is different compared to his other projects. It’s a mishmash of dream pop and indie. He explained, “I’m not trying to ever really emulate and cosplay a specific sound or specific style.” The only thing he thinks that makes Glitterer different from his past projects is that it’s just him doing it. “I’m determining everything, which makes it kinda challenging,” he said.
When he’s not doing music, Russin loves to read, and that love for reading would also help inspire his project’s name. “Glitterer is the rejected title of a book that never came out,” he briefly put it. Russin further elaborated on the title saying it was the name of the late American author David Foster Wallace’s final book. Wallace committed suicide prior to the book being finished. It was later published after his death and retitled to The Pale King.
The book was about boredom, and while Russin said that the ideals of the book didn’t influence the band, it got him thinking about his life. “I’ve been thinking about recently my upbringing of being from a very small, nearly rural suburban town in Pennsylvania,” he explained. “The reason I got into music and the reason that I threw myself into it was partially because of boredom. That was my attempted cure for it. It was something to do when there’s nothing to do in the town. I don’t necessarily align myself with the goal of the book, I just thought [glitterer] was a nice word. It was interesting, it was different, and to me it had a nice association because it’s for a writer I admire.”
‘Looking Through The Shades’ is available now. Starting in late August, Glitterer will be touring the UK for the first time ever, being joined alongside Stages In Faith. Russin will also be hitting the road this fall with Ceremony and Choir Boy across the United States.