After three years as MCG, songwriter Mariclaire Glaeser’s Austin quintet took on the antithetical, slightly more stylish title of Shy Beast. Along with the remix in nomenclature, they also turned the page from playful indie rock to sleek, polished electro-pop.
“We needed a new lift in our sails,” shares Glaeser. “There was a sense of, ‘We’ve got to take more risks.’ I know there’s more in me than just wearing black clothes and singing about boys.”
The angular sonic uptick manifested in bright, monochromatic pantsuits for Glaeser, finished in Eighties-futuristic neon wiring. Her more subdued four-man backing crew includes guitarist David Tenczar and bassist Jay Cesak, both of whom she’s known since age 7, as well as multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bennett and drummer Drew Silverman. Inspired by the live artistry of David Byrne and David Bowie, the 30-year-old singer crafted an elegant, eccentric onstage persona, finally banishing the docile singer-songwriter of her 20s.
“Bowie assumed a different entity onstage,” remarks Glaeser. “He could hide behind that, but also project something crazy through it. I was in denial that I deeply wanted to be weird. At first it was an alter ego, but it just feels like me now.”
Revitalizing sentiments show up on the band’s summer single “My Stride.” In the triumphant, synth-touched tribute, Glaeser’s stormy voice asserts: “Consider what led me here/ And all the reasons why. I can feel the fever in the moment/ I feel more alive.”
Shy Beast’s first yearlong romp included a 2018 Black Fret nomination and a spot in the Austin Music Foundation’s artist development program. Gearing up for a November EP produced by Bright Light Social Hour fave Danny Reisch, the trajectory confirms that Glaeser, albeit formerly bashful, has successfully unleashed her inner beast.
Tue., Sept. 11, 7pm