Heartstrings Interview Review

We Hear You ‘Loud and Clear’: An Interview with Glowing House

If you visit Glowing House‘s website, you’ll see where they describe themselves, simply,  in an understated way:

Settled in a firm belief that songs are awesome, Glowing House writes, records, and performs unique music that will stay on your mind.

The truth of it all is that, even one listen to their new EP, Loud and Clear, will make your bones shake and your heart ache, and will conjure within you an intense need to sway along with the rippled waves of music that is, simply stated, Glowing House. The band is comprised of Steve Varney and Jess Parsons, a husband-and-wife team, with a musical bond like no other, after all, it’s what brought them together. You’ll probably recognize Varney’s name, as he spends much of his time playing  guitar and banjo for Gregory Alan Isakov, as a key contributor to the  signature atmosphere-invoking “God-sounds,” that Gregory and his band amazingly bring to every record and every show. Glowing House evokes the quiet ballads, slow builds, and indirect style you’ll hear Varney help bring for Isakov.  Parsons and Varney have something different to say, and no intention of saying it quietly. Loud and Clear embraces traditional songwriting and song structure, and adds compelling stories set to bright, brilliant melodies as Glowing House delivers each song with power. Parsons says, “We like sad songs that sound happy and happy songs that sound sad.”

Varney and Parsons share the lead-vocalist role, from song to song, each presenting perfectly blended harmonies for the other. The EP artwork is in comic book form (illustrated by Pat Jensen)…Jess’s idea… a fourteen page graphic narrative that takes you through, and brings to life, the twists and turns of the title track murder ballad.

There’s no need to knock on the door — the music will let you into this Glowing House. This daring duo will not hesitate to surprise us with their creativity and unprecedented style. And we must say, we can’t wait to find out what they have lurking around the next corner, as it’s bound to be bold and breathtaking.

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Lauren Jahoda: Where does the name — Glowing House — come from?

Steve Varney: Honestly, nowhere special. We wanted a name that sounded warm.

When did you and Jess decide you were going to pursue music together, in the same band?

When we got tired of accompanying each other’s music and we realized our music was similar enough that it would probably equal something special if we started collaborating.

What is it like working with Jess?

Jess doesn’t know how talented she is. She has an amazing voice and she’s a great writer and player. She has a real knack for realizing when a song isn’t quite making sense, like it may be headed down an overly-convoluted path. Her’s is a great mind to have around. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

How did the merge of comics and music come about? How did you meet/begin working with Pat Jensen?

That was Jess’ idea. I tend to write the majority of the songs with any violence, so she was pretty hands off during the writing of Loud and Clear, but she quickly envisioned the song played out in a comic book. I thought it was a great idea from the first time I heard it. Our friends in the band Rubedo had used Pat Jensen to design a concert poster which depicted them as badass space dudes. We loved the look of his art, so I got in touch and asked him to listen to the song and if he could go dark late 20’s early 30’s. He was down for the challenge and he completely nailed it.

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