Margaret Glaspy is ready to make her Savannah Music Festival debut as she kicks off the first part of her tour, “The Final Hour.”
“I've never played the festival before and I've had a lot of friends who have and raved about it, so it's exciting," she said in an interview with Do Savannah.
Glaspy grew up in Red Bluff, Calif., and spent time in Boston studying at Berklee College of Music. Shortly after, she started playing local venues in Boston until moving to New York City.
In April 2016, Rolling Stone named Glaspy as one of its "10 New Artists That You Need to Know," stating that her music sounds like “low-end-heavy indie rock with disarmingly honest lyrics” and that fans of Alabama Shakes and Joni Mitchell should pay attention.
Glaspy’s debut album “Emotions and Math” depicts the mind of a songwriter with an equal amount of love for words and music. While the album is listed as alternative, it has pop vibes and rock influences. It also shows off her impeccable voice that can go from delicate to powerhouse in seconds.
“The inspiration for it was my entire life,” Glaspy said. “I had released a couple of EPs, but I saved some material just for my first release, so I kind of put everything into that one. Now it’s fun to kind of have that behind me, to be working on new material and to have all the experiences of making a record.”
Glaspy’s knowledge of music production and instinct for precise songwriting give her the ability to capture emotions vividly and makes listening to her music feel like you’ve known her forever. At the same time, the songs can relate to anyone’s life.
“At first when I started to songwrite, I would write songs like the musicians that I liked,” Glaspy said. “So even for the record 'Emotions and Math,' I took Elliott Smith songs as a big inspiration. Before the record, I would kind of mimic people that I really liked: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, The Beatles.”
Glaspy also said that because her parents had put those records on, she had absorbed them and wanted to write like them. It had become her music education in songwriting.
“As I've grown up and kind of found my own taste in music, I listen to everything under the sun, including a lot more pop music than I did when I was younger,” Glaspy said. “The Spice Girls, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey and a lot of different influences became a part of my world, so now it's became a combination.”
Now that she has written more and more, she’s started to create her own style.
“That's what I reach for now — just to be able to write my own songs and mimic people less while learning from them still,” Glaspy said.
Glaspy’s ability to write from an emotional perspective is heard in the song “Parental Guidance” about the Columbine school shooting.
"That was definitely a reality check for me as a child,” Glaspy said. “It had a big effect on me and was the inspiration for that song and also an inspiration for me in terms of understanding how children are affected by what is going. They’re not immune to their own feelings or emotions, and I think that a big part of how we develop starts when we're young.
“It was just kind of a portrait of how people can feel when they're growing up.”
Glaspy just released a new EP titled “Born Yesterday," written "primarily when I was on the road and it is a slight departure,” she said. “It’s still in the same zone as ‘Emotions and Math,’ but it still feels slightly different in style.”
Glaspy shares an SMF bill with violinist Jenny Scheinman’s Mischief & Mayhem, which includes legendary musicians such as guitarist Nels Cline from the band Wilco, bass player and producer Todd Sickafoose and drummer Jim Black.