Seth Glier has released a fabulous thoughtful and varied album, The Coronation, this past August. It is a meditation on the previous year spent in isolation but doesn’t shy away from social commentary. Many of the song’s remain personal and introspective. Seth notes his view of his songwriting has evolved during this period. He always viewed his songwriting as “story-telling” or journalistic in nature but has realized that these times require a new perspective. This album focuses on his role as a songwriter in imagining the future and new possibilities. The title cut is a great example of this approach. The song is inspired by humanity united in a common cause, a time when compassion is as contagious as the virus (and fear). His optimism is present throughout the album despite songs about mass shootings and covid.
Seth was generous to play four songs live in-studio in addition to two from his recorded catalog. We start with a stripped down version of “The Coronation” followed by “If It Wasn’t For You” written and inspired by Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai whose work for girls and women’s rights won her the Nobel Peace Prize (the youngest ever recipient). Our conversation continues with a discussion of Seth’s work as a Cultural Ambassador with the State Department’s “American Music Abroad”. He traveled to Mongolia, China and Ukraine in 2018 followed by a proposed stint in Mexico scheduled for 2020 which was postponed until this April. The Mexican trip’s cancellation led directly to Seth’s latest work and release (as well as home repair projects!).
Seth Glier was gracious to premiere a brand new unnamed song which references his newly acquired hobby of mushroom growing and foraging. 2020 was a big year for new hobbies like birding and foraging (as well as home improvement). We listened to “Things I should Let you Know” the title cut from his earlier album.
Our conversation turns personal with discussion of Seth’s older brother Jamie who suffered from Autism and lived his entire life non-verbally. Seth discusses the challenges and rewards of this important relationship in his life. The theme of gratitude once again shows up in the lyrics to this song dedicated to his brother called “Love is a Language”. Seth offered up a gorgeous version of this powerful song live in the studio. We finish the segment with the album version of “Till Further Notice”; another song which teaches us lessons from our crisis’ and our struggles.
Seth Glier plays this coming Friday 12/17 at Northampton’s Academy of Music along with his musical heroes, Martin Sexton. Highly recommended.