Introducing… Johanna Glaza

Our Introducing... series focuses on artists who we think are worth shouting about. Here we have baroque-folk oracle, Johanna Glaza.

Posted on Nov 25th, 2013 in Features and Interviews, Johanna Glaza / By Larry Day
Introducing… Johanna Glaza Here at Bearded we aim to shed light on acts who don't necessarily have giant labels or muscley budgets waving banners behind them. This Introducing series will focus on artists who we think are great, regardless of how much hype surrounds them or where their origin story lays.

Name: Johanna Glaza
Location: London, UK
Genre: Baroque-folk
Similar Artists: Joanna Newsom, Cate Le Bon, Kate Bush
Contact: Facebook
Events: Debut EP Silence Is Kind released today (November 25)

Comparisons to Kate Bush are often shorthand for 'too lazy to think of another female singer', but much more rarely, it's completely apt – she's a singular talent with visionary, forward-thinking ideas about melody, harmony and lyrics. Once in a blue moon, there's an artist who bears more than a passing similarity, not just in timbre or tone, but in overall ethos too – in the past, Florence + The Machine have filled those boots, but now it's time to pass the crown (to mix metaphors) to London singer-songwriter Johanna Glaza.

Describing her music as 'baroque-folk', Glaza peddles an oddball brand of chamber-pop. She twists hooks and words into a fantastical world; there are times she reaches for gothic realms, and there's definitely the right circumstances for her to be described as 'Tim Burton'-y, especially with tracks like 'Shall I Be A Saint' overflowing with maudlin strings, the twinkle of macabre piano and Glaza's gossamer vox congealing together.
The EP itself showcases the scope of her style, from the frailty and sentimentality of spiderweb-thin ballads ('Mama Mama'), to the operatic bursts of majesty that gorgeously plague the release ('Silence Is Kind', 'Gravity Of Your Face'). It's a sublime array of dark sounds, which although do feature many morose moments, also display a more hopeful facet in sparkling chimes, Glaza's crystal clarion call and the subtle electronica pads. It's not all doom'n'gloom here. It's more like Alice In Wonderland – creepy, kooky and strange, yes, but also fascinating and stuffed with whimsical optimism.

According to her Facebook profile, Glaza has been working on her live shows lately, using a “century-old upright piano” and enlisting a “motley crew of accompanying musicians to enhance the beautiful bedlam of her music.” There's no doubt that music as atmospheric and engrossing as this will translate well to a live scenario – if she's able to conjure a sonic miasma half as intense as she does on Silence Is Kind, then, with her piano chops and incredible vocals, it'll be one helluva ride. Expect to see considerably more of Johanna Glaza in the coming months – this time next year she'll be a formidable nu-folk force.