Xena Glas begins hew new EP Body with the short song “Feet.” With delicately plucked and strummed guitar Glas sets a tone of delicate textures flowing through her ethereal vocals. In the background one hears what sounds like samples of wind and running water. At one point she counts off paces that feel like an internal system of timing rather than something that regulates the organic meter of the ambient layers of the song proper. In the notes to the EP, Glas says this song as well as the track “Hand” represent the aspect of her “lived experience with autism” referred to as “stimming in situations of sensory overload” with counting, tapping fingers and pacing. But one need not have experience with autism on any end of the spectrum to be able to relate to this neurological phenomenon in moments of extreme boredom. Stimming just sounds like good, easy and pragmatic practice for keeping the mind active when things feel overwhelming and when it might be helpful to stay focused on something to derail what we’re supposed to think of as a normal reaction when we have no choice but to deal with a challenging situation. Glas’ composition is a model for calming the mind with simple layers of sound that provide a sonic mantra to help weather a passage of peak stress. With obvious guitar loops, vocals, reverse delay and signal processing, Glas’ spectral introductory song to an EP equally inventive throughout sets the stage for a chill yet engrossing listen. Fans of Phew, Laurel Halo, Loraine James and Alice Coltrane will appreciate the transcendent moods achieved by Glas across the five songs and the undeniable and expansive sense of the possible that permeates each song executed with elegant performances and a keen ear for subtle details and dynamics that the dreamlike quality of the music conveys. Listen to “Feet” on Bandcamp where you can also listen to the Body EP in its entirety. Follow Glas at the links provided.
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