Emotions and Math

A steaming-hot summer in Chico just begs for good folk-rock. Luckily, there’s a bit coming out, including a debut from songwriter Margaret Glaspy. The 27-year-old grew up in Red Bluff (you heard me) playing fiddle. Glaspy relocated to Boston for a semester at Berklee College of Music, after which she officially dropped out but hung around to sneak into classes and hone her songwriting skills. She took that insight and relocated to New York, working her way up through the songwriter community to her debut release, Emotions and Math. On first glean, it’s overall gritty, fun rock, but it’s the nuances that give this record its punch. Take Glaspy’s vocals—a deep alto register with a gravely demeanor, a jazzy finesse, strong attack, and a bouncy 1990s pop air. Songs like “No Matter Who” almost have a Neil Young movement to them with Glaspy’s snappy strumming and easy-listening licks, but her voice brings a polished quality—less retro, but still a perfect summer groove.

—Robin Bacior