Seth Glier Residency in The Studios at SPACE
For 22-year-old Massachusetts native Seth Glier, “The Next Right Thing” isn’t just an album title – it’s a way of life. “Each one of us is presented with the opportunity every day to do the next right thing, but we rarely take the time,” Glier says. “For a society so obsessed with being a part of something greater than ourselves, we are really quick to let our own fears and indifference shut the door on our intentions.” For his sophomore MPress Records release, the Berklee educated singer/pianist set out to document the ways in which he – and the people he encounters on the road – attempts to do “the next right thing, as opposed to the next thing right.”
Despite his relatively young age Glier is a seasoned troubadour, traveling all over the United States and performing over 200 dates a year. In 2010 he opened for Edwin McCain and The Verve Pipe, appeared with his idol James Taylor and performed on main stages of the prestigious Falcon Ridge and Kerrville Folk Festivals, with rave reviews and a constantly-expanding fan base following him every step of the way. “I’m an ambassador,” Glier explains. “I travel from place to place carrying my songs and stories with me, and I want people to leave my show changed. Some people won’t remember the songs I sing, but they will remember how they felt while hearing them. That’s what I want to do – to remind people, including myself, why we’re here: to connect!”
Glier doesn’t just concern himself with connecting with paying audiences, either. Along the massive tour behind his MPress debut, “The Trouble With People”, Glier, an environmentalist and altruist used his music to make a difference wherever he could. His “green” CD release tour involved organizing tree planting parties in cities along the tour route (which he reached in his hybrid Toyota Prius); promoting carpools for fans to attend his shows; selling t-shirts made out of organic materials, and more. He also made frequent visits to such unlikely venues as elementary schools, nursing homes, and hospitals. In the same vein, Glier closed out 2010 with the “Light It Up, Let It Go” tour. Deriving its name from a lyric from the new album, Glier continued his partnership with the organization Musicians On Call to visit hospitals and perform at charity benefits, and he plans to continue incorporating such appearances into his ongoing tour. The inspiration he derived from these appearances directly influenced the songs on “The Next Right Thing”.
The title track, which kicks off the album with a rousing chorus reminiscent of New Orleans-flavored gospel blues, sets the thematic tone for what is to come, even as it stands alone musically. The chorus repeats the mantra, “Do the next right thing or the next thing right.”
“Walk Katie Home” and the album’s first single, “Lauralee” are both vignettes from opposite sides of a similar story. “Walk Katie Home” is about something Glier wishes had happened: “I drove down to St. Marks Place in New York City one weekend to take a girl I had a crush on out to dinner,” he recalls. “I ended up walking her home, and then she started dating a glockenspiel player. That’s life, I guess.” “Lauralee”, on the other hand, is a more traditional pop love song. “I met Lauralee in Philadelphia a few years ago, and fell head over heels for her. The timing never seems to work out, but she will be a huge part of my life forever.”
Glier’s seemingly endless tour gave rise to “First”, which is about coming home from a long time away to discover that everything that was once familiar now looks different, “but the fact is that the only thing that’s changed is me.” That theme is further explored in “No Place To Land”, which is the story of one of Glier’s touring peers. “From afar he has what seems like an ideal life, but when you look closer you find the reality is just the opposite. One of my heroes, Joni Mitchell says that you’re writing about yourself even when you’re not writing about yourself. Sometimes this song can feel pretty true in my own life, in a very different way.”
Two other tracks on the album literally are about Glier’s home. “Book of Matches” was inspired by a series of arsons in the winter of 2009 in Northampton, MA, which Glier considers his artistic hometown. “I was really inspired seeing how the community came together during that time. People refused to give in to fear, and they rallied around their neighbors in a way I’d never seen before.”
The album was recorded in the spring of 2010 at The Carriage House studio in Stamford, CT, with additional overdubs completed in Glier’s basement in Shelburne Falls, MA. Co-produced with Glier’s long-time collaborator, guitarist and best friend Ryan Hommel, it was engineered by Brendan Muldowney, and mixed by John Shyloski (Stephen Kellogg, Johnny Winter) and Grammy-winner Kevin Killen (U2, Elvis Costello). After working with Glier, Killen commented: \"Seth’s musical exuberance shines through his compositions regardless of the subject matter…his vocal delivery compels your attention. Seth is naturally effervescent and fearless and his gift will surely reach the wider audience it deserves.\"
With the release of “The Next Right Thing”, Seth Glier hopes to continue to make as many personal connections as possible with his music. He declares, “I am inspired, and I will inspire the person sitting next to me. Promise!”