Seth Glier album garners accolades

  • Singer-songwriter Seth Glier in his Easthampton studio apartment on Dec. 8, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Singer-songwriter Seth Glier in his Easthampton studio apartment. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • “Birds”

Recorder Staff
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Shelburne Falls native and Grammy-nominated musician Seth Glier took home three Independent Music Awards at the 16th annual awards ceremony held at the Lincoln Center in New York City. And all were for an album he recorded last year from his western Massachusetts home, called “Birds.”

“The process of making ‘Birds’ was intimate and a bit unconventional,” said Glier, who won awards for Best Album, Best Song and Best Producer (along with co-producer Steve Lunt).

“Making it wasn’t about commerce (as much) as it was about healing my heart after losing my brother and grasp upon the world,” Glier writes on his website. “It feels so good to see that ‘wandering’ recognized. These ones are for you, Jamie.”

Jamie Glier, who had severe autism, died in 2015. While Jamie was always a source of inspiration to his brother, the loss was the partial inspiration behind the writing and songs on Birds.

“My brother passing away was a huge component of who I was and what I was looking for,” Glier said in a 2016 TEDx talk. “In particular, I was looking for meanings, wanting (Jamie’s) life to mean more than just being over.”

At 7 years old, Seth Glier began singing the “Star Spangled Banner” before his Little League games, and by 9 years old, he received a trophy from the American Legion and a certificate of achievement from the Massachusetts governor for belting out his major league version of the national anthem for the Pee Wee division of the Mohawk Youth Baseball League. Since then, the accolades for his music have piled up.

In 2011, Glier, at age 23, won his first Grammy nomination for his album, “The Next Right Thing.”

The album was partially inspired by the loss of Jamie, which prompted Glier to explore deeper issues. Glier’s Best Song award is for “Like I Do,” a song about hurt, lost love and longing. “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” directly relates to his brother’s death: “Let me hold it together / ‘cause I can’t accept / I’ve never been in a world without you in it / Too soon to remember / But I don’t forget / Hasn’t hit me yet.”

The title song, “Birds,” is an homage of sorts to the birds outside Glier’s studio apartment windows in Easthampton, where the album was recorded.

Glier averages over 250 live performances a year, according to his website, and now has five Independent Music Awards in total. He has played at the White House and in China, and has toured with dozens of artists, including James Taylor, Ani DiFranco and Ryan Adams.