John Glacier

John Glacier


North America

Upcoming Shows

09/20/2024Making Time, Philadelphia, PA09/21/2024Making Time, Philadelphia, PA09/22/2024Making Time, Philadelphia, PA
09/25/2024Elsewhere Hall, Brooklyn, NY
09/28/2024Pop Montreal Festival, Montreal, QC
09/29/2024WARM LOVE COOL DREAMS, Chicago, IL
10/02/2024Lodge Room, Los Angeles, CA

John Glacier

“I’m a very mood based person, and I’m very particular,” John Glacier says. “If I’m in a mood to do something, I’m gonna find a way to do it.”

 The words the artist uses to categorise herself range as polar opposites. Determined, bubbly, sparkly at one end; shy, not social, “in her head” at the other. In only a few short years the artist has carved out a space for herself amongst music fans, critics and industry peers as a singular artist and lyricist in the UK music scene, and someone whose music truly sounds like no one else’s.

2024 sees her returns with newest solo project “Like A Ribbon.” It’s the artist’s first release post collaborative tape JGSG made alongside rap-production supergroup Surf Gang, her stunning 2021 solo release SHILOH: Lost For Words, and since signing to Young Recordings in 2023. The release sees her further exploring multi-disciplinary performance as a poet, rapper, music composer and now video director. A contrast from SHILOH’s vulnerability, Like A Ribbon emerged out of desires to create music more “laid back, stripped and upbeat.”

“It links back with engagement and to do with performing,” she says. “With SHILOH it’s so vulnerable, when I was performing I did not want to hear anyone talking at all! My main aim was literally just more positive music.”

 On Like A Ribbon, Glacier peels back her many layers. Opening tracks tell listeners about her personhood, beautifully captured with single “Money Shows.” Produced by fellow Young Recordings labelmate Kwes Darko, the track serves like hazy vignette music from the ongoing movie of her life. Airy vocals come via alternative music wunderkind Eartheater, whilst grainy guitar instrumental nest Glacier’s dreamy flows, written as if via stream-of-consciousness.

Detailing a collection of feelings arising after time spent at Paris Fashion Week, the song’s accompanying video, self-directed by the artist, is semi-autobiographical. Shot in Hackney near where she grew up, it details the “dual reality that I have with my stage presence, versus my actual reality.”

“Around that time, I was just tired. I was tired of working, having to go places; I’ve got a disability, and at the time didn’t have a space of my own either. People would see me on a shoot and say “you look great,’ and it’s like, I’ve literally just come from a sofa! But it’s about showing up as well. You get up and go because this is the life you’ve chosen. Despite being tired or despite your problems, just show up.”

 The video serves as a way to merge her realities for the viewers. “When I was presenting myself, I was presenting in a certain way. People take you in for that image of you, but don’t actually know what’s going on. They’re both true realities, but people separate them because they only see one face.”

 Other tracks continue to melt the glacier, bit-by-bit. Opener ‘Satellite’ encompasses concepts of rebirth, the light at the end of the tunnel, and avoiding repeating past mistakes. Produced again by Darko, it’s interspersed with ad-libs and touches that talk to her time overcoming nerves in the studio and the stories behind the track, and almost feels like the listener could have been present at time of recording. 

And across the release, she throws in parts on her humour, personality, tongue-in-cheek pop-culture references, (“I’m a glacier, that’s why I look so deadly / This is my space, that’s why they wanna friend me” she raps on “Emotions”) and allows her trademark blend of poetry-rap hybrid give way to vivid imagery ( “I always run away and I run from inklings,” she says on “Tripsteady”). Additional production comes by way of SHILOH collaborator Vegyn and Flume, ranging from lo-fi and guitar-led to electronic-leaning.

Dating back to childhood, John Glacier had often considered herself as “particular,” and someone who knew exactly what she wanted. It’s a byproduct of her geography; the artist was raised in Hackney, the second eldest of seven. Of Jamaican heritage, her family had loved music. It was a home where every genre was played; pop, reggae, soca, country, lovers rock, grime, more. 

She hadn’t ever wanted to be a musician, though; a talkative and a big tomboy in her youth, she loved reading and writing poetry, both as an outlet for herself and a gift to others. Since I was a child, I’ve always been the person that kind of stood out,” she says. “I grew up in Hackney when Hackney was Hackney; I’ve always been like the weird, quirky girl. But regardless of whether people take me in for who I am or not, I don’t care.”

Solo artistry would come much later, a surprise given her knack for songmanship. Glacier had started playing around on Logic in 2017, experimenting with production and creating music recreationally. First making a name on the London poetry scene performing at the likes of Serpentine Gallery, her first forays into music would be standout collaborations with the likes of Vegyn, Babyfather and LYAM whilst 2021’s SHILOH: Lost For Words would see her gain wild critical acclaim as her breakout moment.

Her rise since has been something to behold. The artist has received wide critical acclaim, gracing the covers of Time Out, The Face, Crack, POP Magazine, Interlope Magazine and Off The Block to name a few, as well as seen features in The Guardian, Vogue, GQ, iD, Dazed and many more. And in the fashion world, collaborators include Marine Serre, modeling for Skepta’s MAINS line, Farfetch, Wales Bonner and Burberry, the latter of which saw her star in, produce the soundtrack for and compose original poem “I’ll Keep You Warm” in the brand’s first campaign with Daniel Lee as Creative Director. 

 The reason she has been so embraced? Her music serves herself first and foremost, and its honesty radiates. “I’m always gonna be in my own little head, and my own little world,” she says.

“A major [label] might be like, ‘Oh, you’re sick, but we see you being this much bigger. And it’s like, who said I want to be bigger?” she laughs. “It’s still recreational for me. I have to have an outlet. And I need music as an outlet.” Regardless of the organic growth that happens in tandem with Glacier’s own “little world” expanding, her music will remain a diaristic, expressive outlet for John Glacier, who with each individual project, invites you a little further into that world, step by step.


Press Links

Pitchfork – John Glacier Signs to Young, Announces EP, and Shares Video for New Song

The Line Of Best Fit – John Glacier announces new EP, Like A Ribbon, with Eartheater collaboration

Clash Music – John Glacier Links With Eartheater On ‘Money Shows’

The Guardian – interview

Crack Magazine – John Glacier shares new track, Money Shows, featuring Eartheater