The new album from Glassmaps, Strangely Addicted, out on Friday via Lost In The Manor, is a sublime thing. That it is shouldn't come as a big surprise given that Glassmaps is a new project from Joel Stein from Howling Bells.
From the Bowie-recalling title cut and on to the near-glam stomp of "Summer Rain" with its faint echoes of peak Oasis numbers, Glassmaps is making music here on Strangely Addicted that demands to be noticed by fans of British rock. On the more experimental "Hyponotised", Stein unfurls a bunch of nice guitar-lines underneath a swirling hook that echoes recent releases from Temples, while the lovely "I'm Sorry" serves as an aching piano-ballad that fits neatly next to the solo offerings from Gaz Coombes for those reading and looking for another comparison point. Elsewhere, there's some neo-folk patterns underpinning "Golden Dayze" even as the space-y "Daddy's Gone" closes out Strangely Addicted with a final burst of light experimentalism.
With this record, Joel Stein as Glassmaps has delivered one of the most pleasant, and unexpected, surprises of this season. Fans of not only Howling Bells but Boo Radleys and Spiritualized, for instance, will find loads to embrace here on this fine album.
[Photo: Uncredited promotional photo]