“I want it to feel like a hug”: The Ache, Catharsis, & Clarity of brother bird’s ‘another year’

Brother Bird © Chris Bauer
Brother Bird © Chris Bauer
brother bird’s Caroline Glaser takes us track-by-track through her bold, beautiful, and breathtaking sophomore album ‘another year,’ a cathartic, emotionally charged exhale of pain, love, loss, and longing.
Stream: “something better” – brother bird

This will forever be the record I made right before everything changed.

The sun is shining and songbirds are chirping bright tunes outside, but brother bird’s Caroline Glaser is in no mood to join in the revelry.

The singer/songwriter’s sophomore album opens like a wide angle shot before zooming in on the artist, alone in her room, sitting with a guitar and pouring her heart out. “Hold on, there’s something I can’t seem to say yet; I’m trying, but my voice is breaking, I’m sorry it’s taking so long,” she candidly confesses, as if she’s midway through an important conversation her audience is unaware of. Her is soul exposed and heavy as those sweeter avian chirps fade from view. She doesn’t just want to pause that conversation; she wants to stop the world, if only for a moment while she gathers her thoughts, works through her feelings, and composes herself.

And into the darkness, we plunge. “I gotta know if this is real love,” she passionately pleads, fighting for her life and the love she thought would last a lifetime. “Nothing is worse than the feeling of trying to keep what we’re used to. Nobody hurts me like you do.” No amount of nature’s beauty or wonder can’t heal an aching heart; a cherished relationship is in danger of destruction, and (she fears) she’s too late to save it. “Ok, so maybe it’s not what we hoped for. We’re sand in the glass tipping over; I’m sorry it’s taken so long.

So begins a cinematic, soul-stirring record dwelling in the depths of inner turbulence and turmoil. Brutally honest and breathtakingly vulnerable, another year is a cathartic, emotionally charged exhale of pain, love, loss, and longing. This is brother bird’s bittersweet lament; the bold, beautiful product of her deepest, most intimate reckonings and innermost reflections.

another year - brother bird
another year – brother bird
been a weird couple weeks
broke down in my car outside a Dairy Queen
called my mom for advice
Said it just feels like no one cares anymore
Met some promoter he showed up late
spoke in circles, no apology
I give my time like an autograph
and I’m always out of ink
There’s something better
Another calendar year
Back with the family for the holiday
Everyones all grown up now and
I play with the food left on my dinner plate
Constantly searching my brain
For something impressive
I could say
I told them you had an almost break
But we’re fine
TV is weird anyway
– “something better,” brother bird

Released March 8, 2024 via Easy Does It Records, another year is the soundtrack to a fractured soul standing on a great precipice, whether she knows it or not. The winds of change blow throughout brother bird’s sophomore album as the Nashville-based singer/songwriter (née Caroline Glaser) dwells in her own visceral depths, picking apart the pain points in her life and doing her best to work through it all, one lyric at a time. Arriving two and a half very long years after her debut album gardensanother year feels, in so many ways, like a rebirth for the indie rock-leaning artist, who seamlessly blends folk and rock influences into delicate, dramatic, and deeply moving music.

Brother Bird © Chris Bauer
Brother Bird © Chris Bauer

“There are definitely some similarities between the two sonically; lyrically, I feel like I’ve evolved quite a bit since gardens,” Glaser reflects. “I’d say I was more hands-on with the production of another year. I made gardens with Andy Hull and Robert McDowell (from Manchester Orchestra). I’m such a massive fan of theirs that it was easy for me to just blindly trust every direction they went in. I admire their work so much that I knew there was no way they could possibly steer me in a bad music direction – which I firmly stand by.”

“It actually really stressed me out to do my second record without them, and kind of forced me to really exhaust all options, experiment, and overthink… This record honestly almost took me out. I went completely mad during the mixing process, just lost all context. I can now say that I’m really proud of it, though. I think it’s a perfect reintroduction of brother bird. The two records feel like kin to me.”

brother bird’s first time co-producing her own music coincides with some of the most intimate, revealing stories and songs of her career. The making of the record led up to the dissolution of her marriage and subsequent divorce, and many of its songs explore that uncertainty looming overhead – not knowing what the future looks like, coming to terms with what she hoped her life would look like versus what it is, and so on. Upbeat, anthemic outcries and brooding ballads share the stage as Glaser channels the multitudes within into a dazzling, dynamic smorgasbord of compelling, ever-cathartic sound.

brother bird © Chris Bauer
brother bird © Chris Bauer

While there are undoubtedly layers of angst and heartache over everything, another year is still a very fun, engaging, and accessible experience.

“I worked on this record for close to three years with my producer, collaborator, and pal, Owen Lewis,” Glaser tells Atwood Magazine. “A lot of the lyrical content came from a really stagnant place both in my personal life and career. If I would’ve been asked this while making the album, I think I would’ve said it was more music industry (career) focused.”

She continues, “The meaning behind this album has worn (and continues to wear) so many different hats. As a whole, the story is ever-changing for me, and I hope it always will be! I was married while writing this album. We were in denial about a lot at the time. The 10-year relationship came to an end during the mixing and mastering process. Very easily the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. Listening back now, I recognize a lot of hopelessness in the lyrics, almost like the songs knew before I did. All of it bled in subconsciously way before I spoke a word of it.”

“I think making this album opened my eyes to a lot, actually. It pulled me out of a shitty place; offered a distraction; offered clarity. I’m so endlessly grateful for this body of music, truly.”

Glaser had no specific “vision” or intent going into the record; rather, she says, the songs ended up capturing her headspace – reflecting the world she was in, and all that she was and wasn’t aware of at the time.

 “I met Owen Lewis towards the end of 2021 and we just wanted to make some stuff to see if we worked well together, and we kind of just never stopped,” she shrugs. “It wasn’t until we were about seven songs in that one of us said, ‘I think we’re making an album?’ I write from a pretty personal place, so, naturally, they all have a similar tone and theme to them. This will forever be the record I made right before everything changed.”

Glaser candidly describes another year as an emotional, nostalgic, and reflective record. Its title, she says, speaks to a sense of inertia that she feels permeates its eleven songs.

“I had a really challenging time with naming this record, I kept going back and forth,” she says. “I landed on ‘another year’ just because the overall theme of the album seemed to be stagnant, waiting for something to give and change, while feeling stuck and too scared to move. Always just kind of felt like another year of the same thing.”

brother bird © Chris Bauer
brother bird © Chris Bauer

From the album’s tender and deeply poignant opener “i’m sorry” to its slow, warm, and wondrous finale “oktaha road,” another year is full of moments of connection, beauty, and self-discovery.

Lead single “something better,” which introduced the record last November and now serves as its second track, is an instant highlight: Raw passion and visceral, vulnerable inner turmoil come to life with vibrant energy as Glaser dwells in a particularly painful space. “There’s something better, ” she sings repeatedly in a chorus that ranges from gentle whispers to spectacular shouts, as if repeating the words will manifest those desired greener pastures. Her inner churn comes out through enchantingly sweet melodies and cathartic, emotionally charged eruptions – all as she tries to convince herself that there is, in fact, a light at the end of this long tunnel of darkness.  All told, the song feels like the folky, indie pop equivalent of screams into the darkness.

As it turns out, “something better” is one of Glaser’s personal favorites as well.

“It changes all the time, but I think my favorites at the moment are ‘state of mind’ and ‘something better,’” Glaser says. “They’re just really fun to play live and they’ve been out for a minute now, so they feel a little more real to me.”

As for her favorite  lyrics, “there’s a lyric in ‘something better’ that I feel sums up the album pretty well,” she says: “And I wish that I was different for ya, but this is all that I could be… As a recovering people pleaser, this feels monumental to me. There’s also a lyric in ‘always’ that I’m really proud of – the best things in life are the hardest to hold, and the first to go… pretty painful to sing that one.”

brother bird © Chris Bauer
brother bird © Chris Bauer

All told, another year aches in the best (and worst) of ways as brother bird channels her innermost pain and devastation into soul-stirring musical beauty.

If you listen very closely to the record’s ending, “oktaha road,” those final, emotional moments are blessed once more with subtle, sweet birdsong – as though the camera lens, which has stayed zoomed in on Glaser for the past 40 minutes, is zooming out again as she turns the page on this chapter of her life, opens the door, and lets the light in once more.

and nobody knows
how it’ll go
a holiday waiting game
we’re all getting old
no one’s the same
in any way
i’m replaying ‘rewrite’
– “oktaha road,” brother bird

Whether she’s ruminating on happiness’ fleeting, fragile nature or putting on a brave face and soldiering on in life and love, brother bird has never felt more unapologetically, uncompromisingly human than she does throughout another year‘s run. These songs hit hard and leave a lasting mark, because the events that inspired them hit her hard and left a lasting mark. You don’t get up and walk away from these things unscathed, but you do learn a lot about yourself in the process – and it’s clear, from these eleven songs, that for better or worse, brother bird has never known herself better than she does right now.

Brother Bird © Chris Bauer
Brother Bird © Chris Bauer

“My hope is always that people feel seen and heard through my music,” Glaser tells Atwood Magazine. “Comforted, in a way. I want it to feel like a hug for anyone going through something shitty. Music has offered me that my whole entire life, and I think that’s probably why I’m so obsessed with it.”

“Personally, I continue to take things away from creating this album. I hinted to this earlier, but I write very subconsciously, so a lot of the meanings continue to take shape.”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside brother bird’s another year with Atwood Magazine as Caroline Glaser takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her sophomore album!

Catch brother bird on tour this spring with Dustin Kensrue; tickets and more information are available at brotherbirdmusic.com!

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:: stream/purchase another year here ::
:: connect with brother bird here ::
Stream: ‘another year’ – brother bird

:: Inside another year ::

another year - brother bird

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i’m sorry

This was the final addition to the record. I wrote it with Tim Bruns and Andrew Petroff towards the very end of 2022… We did a little bit of tweaking, but, sonically, it’s pretty close to what we came up with that day. I was fighting for my marriage at the time, in the absolute darkest place I’ve ever been, just really in the thick of it. I hadn’t started talking about it with anyone yet, though. We ended up separating and filing pretty quickly after that session, but a lot of that bled into the lyrics. I think that’s probably why I became so obsessed with adding it and making it the opening track. It felt so honest, like a veil lift, in a way.

something better

i wrote this right before thanksgiving 2021- i was in a pretty low place personally & career wise. everything just felt sort of stagnant. not being able to tour really took a toll on me. the song has kind of a playful/ satirical feel, but it definitely came from a grim place.

final scene

i wrote this over zoom with Luke Sital Singh, it’s a love song for the end of the world.


i’ve lived a lot of life with this song. it’s worn a million different hats and continues to take on different meanings to me.  it was almost on my self-titled ep back in 2018. It was almost on my debut LP, gardens. we just couldn’t ever crack it. i probably have close to 8 recordings of this song, but i can finally say i’m proud of where it landed. and when it did, it started out as a gentle ode to the very beginning of my career, my first taste of success at age 18 after a brief appearance on television. it was sort of terrible? grateful for it, but i think i mostly hated it. reality tv just is not for me. i was absolutely riddled with anxiety and i was at the age where i didn’t know how to say no. i didn’t know that i could. it’s where i learned to change myself for the approval of others. it was where i learned how sinister self doubt could be and it really put me on a 5 year trajectory of attracting the very shittiest side of the music industry.


“quitter” and “something better”’ feel like kin. they were written in the same week.. we tracked them together with the same band, same day. they have really similar personalities to me. very similar tone. “quitter” feels a little more pessimistic, though, more blunt. they both go to an almost anthemic place, which feels hopeful to me in a way, like solidarity. we all are just in the shit together.


i wrote this song in 2021. it’s about loving someone with a mental illness. it’s really similar to my song, “leave it alone.” just a hopeless plea for them to stick around. it’s a tough one to play live.. i’ve actually only tried once, and i was battling a pretty large knot in my throat the entire time. i brought the song to Luke Sital Singh and he came up with the really stunning bridge melody and we ended up tracking it live in a studio somewhere in nashville (with owen lewis). i’m drawing a blank on the name, but luke played it on a grand piano while i sang along in a vocal booth in the next room. we added strings after, but other than that it’s completely live.


i wrote this song with Luke Sital-Singh & Tim Bruns back in 202. We were initially writing with the intent to pitch for sync (tv/film placements), but the melody felt more personal to me. when i started cutting songs for this record i became obsessed with this one being on there. i was going through something really intense at the time and wanted the lyrics to lend themselves to that. hit a little closer to home, and most of the time the only way i can access that is in a room by myself. almost subconsciously.. it’s weird how certain words come to you before you even know what they mean. this song is a perfect example of that.


i was a bit of a hellion in my teenage years. i hung out with what my mother would call “a shady group of kids” in high school. i got into a lot of trouble and a handful of the kids i hung around and went to parties with ended up going down a much darker path after we all left for college. a lot of them devastatingly lost their lives to addiction. there were about 5 that passed away within years of each other… just really gut-wrenching. this song was originally a piano ballad, but i brought the idea to Tim Bruns and Jake Cochran (of illiterate light).. they helped me finish writing it and brought more of an anthemic celebratory energy to it. i hope this feels like nothing short of a celebration of their lives. i had lost touch with them through the years, but they made a lasting impact. and i only want to acknowledge the beauty in that.

state of mind 

this is a special one to me. i wrote it with Luke Sital-Singh in 2022 and it has since taken on a million different meanings to me. i’ve spent the last decade feeling pretty out of place in a lot of ways. when i hit ryan usher up about collaborating on an animated video this concept came almost instantly… it’s become a little ode to my inner alien. a reminder to always strive towards beauty and love and acceptance.”


i wrote this song with Ben Cramer (of Old Sea Brigade) – it feels pretty abstract.  almost like a dream sequence. a love hate relationship with the suburbs and growing older. i’m such a fan of ben’s.. we wrote this song right before he had me out on his tour towards the end of 2022. it came together really quickly and i’m excited for people to hear it.

oktaha road 

this song has been out for a while now- i wrote it around Christmas/NYE 2021. someone close to me was hospitalized and the majority of the holidays were spent around the phone waiting to hear from doctors. it’s extremely specific and the second i hear it or play it out i’m right back in that moment. back in that house. it’s a tough one for me.

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:: stream/purchase another year here ::
:: connect with brother bird here ::

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another year

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