Artist: Heather O’Neill
Title: Glass Delusion
F.F.O: Everything but the Girl; Tori Amos; Chrissie Hyde
“Man, like all animals, is glass and can return to glass” – German alchemist Johann Becher in his work Physica Subterranea, published in 1669
Heather O’Neill has turned to a little-known medical condition from the past to get inspiration for her latest single, Glass Delusion, the follow-up to the radio success, Pricking a Witch. From King Charles XI to Tchaikovsky ‘glass delusion’ is, as the name somewhat suggests, a disorder which makes the sufferer believe they are made of glass and therefore doomed to shatter at the slightest touch. Although it is now only very rarely seen in modern times, it proved fascinating for the well-travelled singer-songwriter:
“There is something so relatable in this delusion because everyone retreats at some point and feels they can’t move in the world any longer or they’ll shatter. This song is trying to guide you out the door. One step at a time”
Currently based in Chicago, Illinois, Heather has travelled all her life, observing others and finding that the human condition rarely change – only the accents. Her songs reflect this, eschewing trite, cliched ‘boy meets girl’ tropes and focusing instead on universal fallibilities, all entwined within her soulful, magnetic vocals and atmospheric musical tapestries. With herself on guitar and aided by Stefan Clarke on bass and production, like previous single, Pricking a Witch, Glass Delusion is a mesmerising, affecting track layered with an air of mystery.
Listen to Glass Delusion here: https://soundcloud.com/user-832685230/glass-delusion/s-W8a4r
Heather O’Neill is an artist who revels in finding inspiration in the unlikeliest places: from the outrageous Dreamlanders of John Waters to the cabaret and comedy of Bette Midler, there is both profundity and profanity to be found in her work, as much screenplay and diary as a collection of songs. Heather’s musical world might sometimes be dark but, like “her bible” Harold and Maude, there’s pathos, a knowing look and more than a little tongue-in-cheek running through her lyrics to keep you constantly coming back for more.