Glowing with the flow For Winnipeg pop quartet Glassreel, even the pandemic couldn’t make music lose its Lustre

Some songs need substantial coaxing and some songs are formed effortlessly. For Winnipeg pop band Glassreel, Up for It — an upbeat, shimmering duet from its first full-length album, Lustre — fell into the latter category.

Read this article for free:


Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe:

Monthly Digital Subscription

$4.75 per week*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles

*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/09/2022 (243 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Some songs need substantial coaxing and some songs are formed effortlessly. For Winnipeg pop band Glassreel, Up for It — an upbeat, shimmering duet from its first full-length album, Lustre — fell into the latter category.

“It came together really quickly, which sort of surprised us,” vocalist Kelly Beaton says with a laugh. “We hadn’t really done that before.”

What’s more surprising is the fact that it fell into place during a particularly challenging time for musical collaboration.

“It was midway through 2020 when we started working on the song,” band co-founder Trevor Graumann says.

Technology, specifically a multi-track recording app, was the saving grace during pandemic lockdowns. “I started it off on my phone and sent it off to everyone else…” he says. “It was kind of a fun way to still be able to put things together and arrange things as a band.”

Graumann and Beaton have been making music together as Glassreel, along with bandmates Andrew Workman and Ken Phillips, for the last five years. The pair initially met through the local music scene and played in other bands in their early 20s before parting ways creatively.

They remained friends and started collaborating again somewhat serendipitously.

“It kind of just worked out for both our timelines; we were both coming out of projects that were either slowing down or full-on packing it in,” Graumann says. “We started working on some songs that we had going and it started working out right away — it started to sound good and feel good.”

Matea Tuhtar photo

Glassreel founders Trevor Graumann (left) and Kelly Beaton are longtime friends and musical collaborators.

Pop music with catchy melodies, ethereal harmonies and melancholy lyrics was the winning combination. Still, it’s taken a few years to nail down the esthetic.

Glassreel released its debut EP, titled Unalike, in 2019. For Graumann and Beaton, Lustre, which comes out Friday, feels like a more intentional, cohesive representation of their vision.

“Going into the studio this time around felt completely different,” Beaton says. “I felt so much more prepared mentally and (I understood) these songs in a really fleshed-out and thorough way.”

As much as the pandemic took away opportunities to perform and collaborate in person, it also provided time and space to refine the collection of songs.

Lustre is Glassreel’s first full-length album.

“Whatever anyone else thinks about it, we can put it out there and say, ‘This is what we were trying to do,’” Graumann says. “We had much more time to work on sounds and really talk things through and listen. Whereas, the EP was, in my point of view, a little more haphazard.”

Graumann is the band’s primary songwriter and he takes inspiration from lived experiences. Lustre explores the fallout of destructive relationships, painful goodbyes and self-consciousness.

Many of the songs were written during the pandemic and, given the timeline, it’s unsurprising that anxiety and existential dread are two of the overarching themes.

“The word dread appears in two different songs on the album,” he says. “When I’m working on lyrics, I’m trying to figure out my place in the world.”

Matea Tuhtar photo

Winnipeg pop band Glassreel is made up of Kelly Beaton (from left), Trevor Graumann, Andrew Workman and Ken Phillips.

While he and Beaton were heavily involved in the record’s production, Graumann’s roommate Mike Beaton (of Private Ear Recording, no relation to Kelly) played a major role in the sound of the final product.

“Once people were allowed out of their house, I was basically at Trevor (and Mike’s) house all the time,” Beaton says. “Working through all these sounds together was a really important part of this and being really careful about the overall feeling… we’re really proud of what we’ve made.”

Lustre will be available for download on all major streaming services Friday. Glassreel is organizing a small Canadian tour in support of the album with plans of hosting a local release party in the new year.

Twitter: @evawasney

If you value coverage of Manitoba’s arts scene, help us do more.
Your contribution of $10, $25 or more will allow the Free Press to deepen our reporting on theatre, dance, music and galleries while also ensuring the broadest possible audience can access our arts journalism.
BECOME AN ARTS JOURNALISM SUPPORTER Click here to learn more about the project.

Eva Wasney

Eva Wasney
Arts Reporter

Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.

Report Error Submit a Tip