You could be forgiven for thinking that Emotions and Math – which came out back in June – was released by an artist with several records under their belt, but it turns out to be Margaret Glaspy’s debut album. More amazingly, the record was self-produced – a decision that can prove to be folly for even the most seasoned of acts – yet Glaspy managed to deliver a compelling collection of minimalist indie-rock songs. Emotions and Math‘s successful execution probably owes much to Glaspy effectively recording the album three times – first as a demo, then as a home recording, and finally in the studio.

I feel lucky in discovering Glaspy’s music through reviewing Emotions and Math for Renowned For Sound, as leaping into the album blind proved to be an exhilarating experience, delivering a “wow” moment that would have been absent with a piecemeal exposure. We are often cautioned against judging a book by its cover, and the same is certainly true of albums, but human nature is such that we are prone to quickly forming expectations, and so it was that I found myself struggling to reconcile the image on the album’s cover, and in the press shots, of Glaspy with the gritty sound – reminiscent of the likes of Patti Smith and PJ Harvey – and vocal growl she judiciously delivers throughout the record.

Now, by this stage I should know better than to jump to conclusions about an act before listening, but it’s so damn enjoyable being pleasantly surprised like I was. For so thoroughly confounding my (unfounded) expectations, having put in the hard-yards in working on her craft, and delivering such compelling songs, Margaret Glaspy is added to the list of Women-Who-Rocktober.

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