OXFORD, N.Y. – 6 On The Square welcomes folk-pop singer/songwriter Seth Glier back to its stage for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30.
Glier’s career has included a Grammy Award nomination and a pair of Independent Music Awards while touring with artists including Ani DiFranco and Marc Cohn.
His fifth album, “Birds” (released on indie label MPress Records), was recorded in an airy home loft in western Massachusetts outfitted with a grand piano and floor-to-ceiling windows. Birds roosted just outside the windows, and they became his sympathetic audience while Glier made the album.
The themes on “Birds” range from personal to political. “Water on Fire” opens with a cynical reworking of a Ray Charles lyric as Glier uses fracking to dig into the false equivalence between freedom and capitalism. “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” is a soulful slow jam about the death of Glier’s autistic brother.
The songs on “Birds” reflect a spectrum of sounds and styles. The title track is lush and orchestral, while “Too Much Water” pairs Glier’s voice and piano with accompaniment from horns for a classic feel reminiscent of Harry Nilsson in the early 1970s. “People Like Us” is jaunty and uptempo, while the guitar arpeggios and saxophone on “Just Because I Can” sound like a sock-hop slow dance.
Race and the criminal justice system are the subject of “Justice for All,” a chain-gang stomp that sounds almost like an old field recording. “Like I Do” takes a more oblique tack, drawing out feelings of anger through the use of noisy synthesizers and fuzzed-out bass pads. A reimagined version of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” is also part of the album’s track list.
“Birds” began taking shape after Glier lost his brother, Jamie, in 2015 and inspired a TED Talk performance in 2016.
Tickets for the March 30 show are $18 in advance or $22 at the door.