The LVL UP boys are all starting to do their own things: Dave Benton has Trace Mountains, Nick Corbo has Spirit Was, Mike Caridi has the Glow, and Greg Rutkin has been drumming for basically all of the projects that have been left in the New York band’s wake. But losing that sense of closeness and collaboration can be scary, and Caridi’s debut album as the Glow finds him at a crossroads, in a period of transition that feels like it may never end. Its title, Am I, has no adequate response. The album asks a lot of questions — “Am I good?,” “Where’s home? Am I alone?,” “Am I a mess or am I being taken out of context?” — but leave the answers up to interpretation.
Caridi has channeled all that existential dread into songs that sound like deconstructed versions of the music that he was making with his band before. All the same elements are there — sharp hooks, crunchy guitars, sour melodies — but they’re hidden behind echoes and a hissing atmosphere, reconfigured for a project that feels more solitary and yearning. The songs origins are from all over the place: some were written for LVL UP, some were written when the band was dissolving, others written in the aftermath, but they’re all bound together by that constant searching.
Am I is out 5/24 via Double Double Whammy. Pre-order it here.