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GLU: A haunting solo debut from Michael Shuman (Queens of the Stone Age, Mini Mansions).

An Instagram account appeared on April 7th with a picture of Michael Shuman wearing black sunglasses and having his face partially exposed in a DIY clair-obscur photograph. The message simply read: "Welcome to GLU. New music is coming soon". Following Michael Schuman's career, it was clear something cool was about to happen. He's widely known as the bassist of Queens Of The Stone Age, however, he's also the frontman of Mini Mansions, a Los Angeles band specializing in lascive and psychedelic pop songs. The first time I saw them was at the Casbah in San Diego around 2011. At the time, Shuman played drums and sang lead vocals for about half of the songs. After signing with Capitol Records, they started touring more extensively. I was able to catch them again at the Hollywood Bowl on their last tour opening for the Arctic Monkeys. Shuman finally assumed the role of lead singer and frontman at this point, playing the guitar and singing lead vocals for most of the songs.

He's back with a solo project, producing and playing all the instruments for GLU. It's not exactly the first time he has ventured solo as he composed, produced, and played every instrument for the soundtrack of the movie Feed in 2017. He also contributed to the soundtrack for GTA V. Yet, this time, the music stands on its own, not attached to another work. The first single was released a few weeks ago.

COLD SWEAT served as an introduction to the newly launched project and it was promising. His sexy baritone voice is apparent throughout an infectious groovy ballad reminiscent of the latest work by Mini Mansions. A beautiful guitar solo appears at the end of the track as the track reaches its climax.

Soon, Michael Shuman announced a residency in London for June. It is worth checking out if you are in the UK. Each Tuesday of the month, GLU performs for free at Sebright Arms, giving you a rare chance to see the musician in an intimate setting.

Sarah Barthel from Phantogram joined Schuman on the second single. MY DEMONS is another great dark pop ballad based on the piano. One of the more surprising elements of the song is Michael Shuman's rapping. That adds another color to his wide range of abilities. This track is, again, masterfully produced and Sarah Barthel's vocals contrast perfectly with Michael's deep voice, creating an enveloping and eerie atmosphere. GLU's debut is an artistic success, and we look forward to hearing more.

- Vincent Walter Jacob


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