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Milwaukee Music Premiere: Glitzy, ‘Water Gun’

A black-and-white image of five men in t-shirts and casual dress smiling and laughing while standing near a brick wall.
Abbey Dooge

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to our Music Submission page to learn how.

One of the best things about music is all the ways different pieces smush together to create something cohesive. There are songs where it seems like all the components have nicely smoothed edges, making it easy for things to merge. Then there are the more challenging combinations with jagged edges that couldn’t possibly fit — until they do.

Glitzy’s new single “Water Gun,” which we’re pleased to premiere right here, falls in the “wonderfully complex” camp. Sure, you could just sit back and let the Milwaukee group’s shoegaze/emo/new wave spin on indie rock wash over you. In fact, that might be the best idea the first time you hit the “Listen” button at the top of the page. But this is a track that warrants closer examination.

From the start, Jeff Balistreri on drums knocks out a curious syncopation that hints at the slightly offbeat nature of “Water Gun.” The rest of the song sees Balistreri, Curtis Wells (guitar, vocals), Sam Thoma (guitar, vocals), Jacob Wescott (synthesizer) and Aaron Broeckert (bass) fit everything within the frame of an upbeat, jangly tune despite the fact that at times you’d swear they’re all playing in different time signatures.

I should probably note that my technical training in music theory ended when I put my cornet away for good in fifth grade. But regardless of how “Water Gun” looks on paper, the finished product gets its hooks in you with a sound that mirrors the familiar lyrical message of anxiety-filled days and relief that only comes when the sun goes down:

Now I'm under the water gun
Filled with something more scary
Is the lie worth the crime
Somehow I'm floating every night
The morning comes with heavy sighs
I'd disappear if I try

“Water Gun” is a true collaborative effort, with all five members pitching in music and lyrics before Alex Meylink and Erik Atwell applied their polish at Stillwave Studios on Milwaukee’s South Side. The song gets its official release tomorrow, Dec. 1, and Glitzy will no doubt play it live when they hit Bremen Cafe’s stage Jan. 12.