The big news this week was that Nine Inch Nails extended their UK tour by three large arena concerts and tickets costed an arm and a leg. What if we told you to skip those gigs and instead invest a tenner to see a new band? Seriously, if just a thousand people decided to miss an overpriced event and instead supported a new talent, then we could end up with a project as innovative and charismatic as NIN itself in no time. Alternatively, somebody put us in direct contact with Trent Reznor, then we will tell him to book Glytsh as an opening act and we will advise you to spend small fortune on a ticket. Hell, we will even go ourselves.
Before somebody tells me I’m no fan of Reznor. I’m a fan long enough to remember him in Exotic Birds and have encyclopaedic knowledge of obscure singles and releases. If I was a record, Id be “Further Down the Spiral” (the remix album, you are talking to a nerd here) and Id be packing “Ghosts I-IV” as a desert island disc. But I also think that charging a hundred pounds for a single ticket is abysmal. Unless a portion of that price goes to support a genuinely impressive band that in ten years’ time could be a cultural phenomenon.
That brings me round to a duo called Glytsh and their own take on Nine Inch Nails classic “Closer”. Gone are the days, when this track caused alarms and scandals, mostly because of its chorus. These days, we look at “Closer” as a song that realistically describes hyper sexualisation as a personal response to a traumatic experience (please remember “The Downward Spiral” is a concept album telling a story of a mental health crisis of a young man that ends in suicide). Lyrically, it is one of the easiest to digest off the album. Covers of “Closer” are a-plenty too. Everyone from Weird Al Yankovic to Hawaiian sensation Kawehi had their go. But everything I’ve heard either remined faithful to the original or reinvented song beyond measure. I mean polka version had its charm but you don’t particularly want to have it on repeat. And Maroon 5 take on the classic just didn’t happen.
I am more than happy to report that after 25 years, somebody decided to use a golden rule and covered “Closer” in a way that it remains recognizable, but with some new and surprising elements thrown into the mix.
Glytsh is a London based duo consisting of singer Luna Blake (Jennifer Diehl) and leading guitarist Hella Sin (Claire Genoud). On occasion, they are being joined by drummer Rosalvo Melo (could not confirm their identity) to make contemporary and very exciting noise.
Their version of “Closer” is also their debut and I could probably write a whole novella on the release – from its production to the sultry, almost soulful vocals. Correct me if I am wrong here but I do believe with certainty that the single is fully DIY. From the information provided Glytsh produced, mixed and mastered the track with the assistance from The Q (another mysterious identity) at the Track 23 Studios. Now, if you know a thing or two about North London, Track 23 is a creative hub in Watford -place that operates on the same principle as Pirate Studios. It is a place for recording suites and small studio spaces that serves new and upcoming artists who wish to have creative control over their music.
This approach alone makes Glytsh so aligned with Trent Reznor that I find it incredible. First NIN releases were born in a studio where Trent worked, usually late at night and rented per hour. He used technology that was available to him, including old desks and samplers. “The Downward Spiral” was mixed on a cheap and early Mac software and then transferred to analogue tape. Almost everyone involved used a strange nick name or simply contributed anonymously. The attitude of a loner, albeit with a vision, turned Trent into a force on the alternative scene in the 90s.
I know, its not always easy to work on your own and successful artists usually have entire teams around them, but any band that will come to me and tell me they do not compromise on their vision and recording process will have bonus points with me.
Glytsh are also immaculate in their approach to visual side of things: photos, costumes and video have flawless aesthetics – again a sign of dedication and clear indication where they are going.
Cherry on the cake must be the killer guitar solo at the end of the track. Touch of purse genius. The girls go all in and we will do the same giving this version of “Closer” a full 11 on the scale of 10.
Now, who has the phone number to Trent Reznor, we want to have a word.
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