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The best kept secret in music


"Psychedelic, euphoric, sulky, sexy and sultry!"

Psychedelic, euphoric, sulky, sexy and sultry ... and all within 40 minutes.

Los Angeles indie-rock trio Gliss returned to Tucson Friday night for a mesmerizing performance at Club Congress. Opening their set with the title track from their latest EP, Velvet Stars, the three members started off playing their primary instruments. Programmer and bassist Victoria Cecilia introduced each song with a pre-programmed backing track.

By the group's second song of the night, "Kissing the Blvd.," the crowd at Congress fell into a trance caused by Gliss' stimulating music and presence. Club Congress' twirling disco-ball lights managed to perfectly match the mood of the music being played. Frontman Martin Klingman would ever-so-gently strut and sway while ripping piercing guitar licks and heavy-breathed vocals. Guitarist David Reiss repeatedly used his pedals to create various guitar effects. Cecilia's basslines were fierce and driving as she played up and down the neck of her bass.

"Have some drinks and think about life," Klingman requested before going into "The Quitter."

Showing the group members' versatility and talents, Gliss continually switched duties on stage. For "Strangest Side of Me," Klingman sang while playing drums. Two songs later, Klingman returned to the guitar while Reiss played drums. For the final three songs, Cecilia made her way to the drum throne while Klingman and Reiss switched guitar and bass duties.

After the final note was played, the crowd snapped out of its hypnotic state and roared with approval.

Prior to playing the group's final song of the night, "Peeping Tom," Klingman said, "You see something so good, you want to see it again." With an enchanting vibe and hordes of thoughtful lyrics, this holds true for the return of Gliss.
- Tuscon Weekly

""Halfway Gone" Review"

Ignorance is not gliss!

This young, fiery L.A. trio emerges as versatile rock maestros on a stellar EP that brilliantly traverses pop, metal, funk, garage and Goth all in the span of five killer tracks.

Martin Klingman’s sand-and-glue vocal delivery, surrealistic word-play and fatalistic veneer rope you in at first listen, whilst co-conspirators Victoria Cecilia and David Reiss render groove-laden instrumental mayhem.

The hypnotic arpeggios of “Velvet Stars,” the psychedelic bliss of “Kissing the Blvd.,” the heavy mettle of “Blue Sky,” the title track’s sci-fi tinged creepiness and blotto bass motif of “Peeping Tom” are the stuff of future stars. - Amplifier Magazine

""Dark, Sexy and Gritty Angelic Beauty""

Gliss has only given us seven tracks to listen to with this EP, but they are filled with such angelic beauty that we intensely listen to each one. Their blend of dark, sexy, and gritty shoegaze rock complete with some electronic sampling fills any indie kid's heart with glee. Although this three-piece live in Los Angeles, it's their European roots that make them so appealing. Fans of Garbage, Curve, Portishead, and The Raveonettes will instantly love Gliss. Look forward to their full-length coming out soon, but for now check out these songs. - Crashin' In

""A Musical Niche that Defies Genre or Trends""

Too guitar-oriented to cater to the electro set, too economical to raise an eyebrow among the shoegazers, and far too subtle to satisfy the disco-punks, Los Angeles trio Gliss have carved out a musical niche that defies genres or trends.

While this iconoclasm has befuddled the local press into a conspiracy of silence, the neo-psychedelic pop of "Kissing the Boulevard" and the slow motion jangle-rock of "Soul Hits the Ground" have had an undeniable impact at the band's live shows. Witness for yourself why their Velvet Stars EP has climbed to the top of Amoeba Music's Indie charts. - Flavorpill

"Ali's Pick of the Week"

As usual, the ones to really appreciate our best bands are the people across the pond. Gliss has toiled in Silverlake for 6 years, singing their hearts out at the Silverlake Lounge. Now they have been embraced in England and are back to stake their claim. Marty's strange child-like lilty rasps leads the Gliss sound. - Ambitious-Outsiders

"Buzz Band!"

Everyone switch!

If not for their game of musical chairs, the three members of Gliss are liable to send listeners into a trance, their spare dream-pop carrying Martin Klingman's vaguely pinched vocals into the ether.

But then a song ends, and Klingman, David Reiss and Victoria Cecilia are trading duties on guitar, bass and drums.

"We're definitely a collective, and switching off is just something we did and didn't think about," says Klingman, whose trio delivered a hypnotic set Monday in the opener to its May residency at the Echo. "But it's become a selling point; people like it."

The set even started without a live drummer, relying instead on Cecilia's programming before Klingman clambered behind the kit. Yes, hiring a drummer might fix Gliss' lineup, but, says Klingman, "this band is more about relationships, and adding to it would be kinda like dating somebody you don't really want to."

Just back from a tour of England, Gliss is celebrating the release of its "Kick in Your Heart" EP, six songs relying on measured guitar dynamics and subtle electronics. After their May dates in L.A., the trio goes back overseas for a series of appearances at European festivals.
- Los Angeles Times

"Pick of the Week!"

The atmospheric Silver Lake band Gliss (named after the musical term glissando) conjure up a bigger and grander moodiness than you might expect from a trio who swap instruments.

Majestic guitars unwind across the spiral galaxies of "Velvet Stars" as Martin Klingman’s breathy, languidly world-weary vocals contrast the glittery settings laid down by collaborators Victoria Cecilia and David Reiss. "I climb your eyelids to see love," he confides in a hazy daze under the looming, skyscraping guitars of "Peeping Tom," from Gliss’ latest EP, Kick in Your Heart (Mountain Lo-Fi Recordings). "Kissing the Blvd." is equally enchanting, with streaks of slide guitar swimming beneath an absolving sheen of spectral keyboards.

Catch this hard-working combo during their Echo residency in May — they’re already stirring up attention back East and in Europe, and they’re flying to Denmark next month to make waves at the Roskilde festival.
(Falling James)
- LA Weekly

"Seduce and Deliver!"

Hooked on a Feeling

Emotive up-and-coming local three-piece Gliss seduce and deliver!

by Jason Sage Gelt

Asked to describe his band's music, Gliss singer Martin Klingman says, "For me, it’s not really what it sounds like, it’s what it feels like. It’s got to have a feeling. It can’t be stale or contrived. It’s got to be a real organic feeling and it’s got to move me to want to play it, so therefore I feel like performing it for people or recording it."

It’s no wonder that in little over a year, Gliss — an emotive, dark, pop threesome — has won a loyal audience and a promising future. Since February 2004, the hard-working band has played New York, toured Denmark, recorded in London, and been featured on Amoeba Records’ "Homegrown" local music EP. Not content to wait around for major label interest, Gliss created its own label — Mountain Lo-Fi Recordings — to release its three EPs, "Velvet Stars," "Halfway Gone" and the new "Kick in Your Heart."

Adding virtuoso showmanship to the mix, all three band members are versatile with guitar, drums and bass, and frequently swap duties both live and in the studio. During its career, Gliss has consistently followed its instincts, eschewing tradition for an intuitive approach to making music. In May, a five-week residency at the Echo will give a whole new audience a chance to experience its intense live act.

Klingman, David Reis and Denmark native Victoria Cecilia began life as a four-piece, Klingman explained. Gliss actually broke up when two members moved to the east coast, leaving him and Reis to reconstruct the band. When they met Victoria, she immediately signed on. Says Klingman, "We were auditioning drummers, trying to kind of do what we were doing before, a four piece, and that never really seemed to gel. I don’t know if I was personally burned out on that formula or just kind of tired of auditioning people. We had a show booked at Star Shoes about a year ago and the three of us just jumped in the deep end and took the gig as a trio."

The rest is history, as fate dealt the leaner incarnation of Gliss a winning card. "That went really well," elaborates Klingman. "It was just kind of a little test…To change it up was kind of scary a little bit at first and then to see that people totally accepted it and really enjoyed some of the dancier elements, to me it was liberating."

Echoing this DIY approach to band formation, Gliss is two-thirds self-taught, as Reis explains. "Basically, I learned how to play guitar by jamming along with blues music on the radio when I was a kid."

"It wasn’t till after high school that I started playing guitar," adds Klingman. "I just learned from friends, really, and some Beatles books and Simon and Garfunkel. And that’s when I started singing too. No formal training. It was just something I wanted to do and it kind of evolved naturally."

Cecilia, the lone music school graduate in the group, says , "I guess my first instrument was piano. That’s what I played when I was a kid. It wasn’t till later on that I started playing bass, which is when I started playing in bands."

This experimental edge has helped Gliss evolve its multi-tasking approach into a lean and flexible band. Their sound is a moody blending of programming and instrumentation, distinguished by piercing guitar licks and tortured, breathy vocals, conjuring comparisons to diverse influences like the Cure and T. Rex.

Gliss’ songwriting process is ever-evolving. "In the past I worked on everything at home and came to the band and presented it that way," says Klingman. "I still do that a little bit, but there’s a lot more now when we show up to practice and David will have a guitar part. A lot more surprises can happen and it’s a full collaboration on a lot of the material, which is totally new for me."

This extemporaneousness also exhibits itself when the band swaps instruments. "Well, it’s just whoever plays when we start doing the song," explains Cecelia. "If it’s a song we write here at rehearsal, then I guess it’s just whoever’s behind the drums kit who’s playing drums on that song. Whoever plays last plays on the recording."

Cecelia, who describes herself as a "perfectionistic control freak" on the band’s Website, is responsible for inspiring some of Gliss’ most creative moves. About the band’s label, Mountain Lo-Fi Recordings, Klingman credits Cecelia for providing impetus. "Victoria was actually pretty inspiring for us to get our asses in gear and not sit around and wait for anyone. And I think that was the big difference, that we went about recording immediately once we got some songs together and got something out there."

Cecelia also arranged Gliss’ recent tour of Denmark. "It did help that I speak the language," she laughs. "I basically sat in front of a computer for a couple of months and emailed every club and booking agent I could find online." She booked several successful shows, both in Denmark and in London.

Bac - LA Alternative Press


Kick in Your Heart (EP, 2005)

Songs currently receiving airplay:

Kick in Your Heart
Velvet Stars
The Quitter
Blue Sky
Halfway Gone
Peeping Tom


Feeling a bit camera shy


The energy of Gliss is beguiling. They’re hip, indie darlings poised to explode onto the music scene, showcasing a mesmerizing new style and take on alt-rock.

Originally a standard four-piece combo, the original line-up of Gliss dissolved in 2003 when two of the members moved away. Martin Klingman and David Reiss auditioned musicians to fill the two vacancies, but it was their discovery of Denmark-native Victoria Cecilia that cemented Gliss’ current incarnation. Once the trio started playing together, they stopped looking for a fourth member, realizing the unique combo they had found. And, in February, 2004, the new Gliss came alive.

It is the remarkable dynamic that exists between the combination of their three distinct personalities that is Gliss’ greatest strength and the source of its unparalleled existence. All three of these talented artists write, sing and play guitar, bass and drums, swapping duties seamlessly, both live and on disc. (Victoria also plays piano and taught herself MIDI programming to use in the band.) Their concert performances are as tight and as contagious as you can imagine possible and the multi-tasking of the trio only serves to draw you in further, highlighting the sheer synergy this band creates in every aspect of their persona.

If there is a group frontman, per se, it is Martin, but he is reticent to accept that role, while still performing lead vocals on all of the songs. “What makes Gliss work is that all three of us really depend on each other. Without any one of us, it would all just fall apart. It’s such a different dynamic than your standard four-piece outfit. I’ve played in a lot of bands, but nothing as much fun or as transcendent as Gliss.” Classically-trained Victoria has her own take on what makes Gliss work: “Every ability that I have ever acquired in music I get the chance to put to use in this band. It’s constantly challenging, but it also never gets boring and it’s certainly never the same thing twice.” And, as David sums it all up, “It doesn’t hurt that we all have dark hair… I mean, it does give us a great look, don’t you think?”

Whatever the reason may be, Gliss does work – and do they ever! Their music is simultaneously energetic, contagious and spellbinding. Watching this trio perform is to not only observe three multi-talented musicians at work in true unison, it is also the chance to catch the fun that they are so obviously having entertaining us.

And the charismatic catchiness of their music does not reside solely on stage. Their Mountain lo-fi Recordings-distributed debut EP, Kick in Your Heart, is already receiving airplay on KCRW, Los Angeles’ NPR affiliate and revered harbinger of the “next big thing,” as well as on cutting edge radio stations KXLU and Indie 103. The new EP contains the janglingly edgy anthemic “The Quitter,” the captivating hypnotic trance of the title track, in addition to an added bonus cut. And they are currently completing their debut album, set for release later this year.

Gliss has arrived. Prepare to be dazzled…