In the two years following The Glow’s debut album release, the previously solo endeavor of LVL UP’s Michael Caridi took shape as a fully realized and collaborative band. Joined by fellow LVL UP member Greg Rutkin and seasoned performers Kate Meizer (Hellrazor, Potty Mouth) and Nicola Leel (Doe) — the four piece have found their voice as collaborators.
The first glimpse of The Glow’s new musical direction comes as a double track release, “Love Only” b/w “Heavy Glow.” Where Am I’s lyrics found Caridi questioning and deconstructing himself for a vulnerable look at his own insecurities and flaws, “Love Only” exudes a new quiet confidence. “It makes me afraid of myself, I’ll reflect on it at 30”, Caridi sings through a chaotic noise, before biting back — “I’ll refuse the pattern, and perpetuate love only”, a rich moment elevated by Nicola Leel’s powerful harmonies. The track finds its stride in Caridi’s signature sounds, yet highlights The Glow’s collective strengths; Kate Meizner’s knack for melodic guitar riffs and Greg Rutkin’s dynamic drumming layered with Leel’s percussive bass find the group unraveling their confident and collaborative sound.
This new collaboration is most apparent on B-side “Heavy Glow”, the four piece’s first entirely collaborative song. With Caridi stepping back as lead vocalist of The Glow for the first time, Kate Meizner steps in to demonstrate her effortless command for vocal melodies. Clocking in at seven minutes, the track features fuzzy guitars from Caridi, reminiscent of his contributions to LVL UP, yet this time steeped in a deep pulsing tremolo that give the track its dizzying foundation. Rutkin’s steady drumming and Leel’s driving bass pave the way for Meizner’s hushed vocals, recalling shoegaze greats like Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine.
In an ultimate homage to the band’s newfound collaboration, the final four minutes of “Heavy Glow” employ four simultaneously improvised guitar solos, one from each member. At times chaotically noisy, fleeting moments of clarity and vibrance reveal themselves like the sun cutting through a storm. If “Love Only” and “Heavy Glow” are only glimpse of The Glow’s new dynamic sound, there is great promise on the horizon.
The former solo project of Mike Caridi (LVL UP) is going full-band: The Glow’s two new tracks, “Love Only” b/w “Heavy Glow,” find Caridi joined by his former LVL UP bandmate Greg Rutkin, as well as veteran performers Kate Meizer (Hellrazor, Potty Mouth) and Nicola Leel (Doe).
“‘Love Only’ and ‘Heavy Glow’ are the first two songs written by The Glow, sorta," says Caridi. "I’ve been releasing music under The Glow moniker since 2016 or so, but until now I’d considered it a solo outlet. The Glow live band came together around the 2019 record Am I, and somehow I got lucky enough to play with a bunch of musicians who I’ve known and admired for years; Greg Rutkin, Kate Meizner, Nicola Leel and Madeline Babuka Black.
To be surrounded by so much talent and not be open to collaboration would have been a major misstep on my part, there’s so much joy in collaboration that I missed a lot while trying to do things on my own. ‘Love Only’ is about reflection and growth; I feel extremely lucky to be playing music with my friends, and with these two songs, The Glow feels like it’s just beginning to bloom.”
Order Am I on vinyl and receive free downloads of "Love Only" and "Heavy Glow"