Seth Glier ponders the resurrection of a prehistoric mammal in his touching new song “Mammoth,” the latest offering from the singer/songwriter’s forthcoming album Everything out on January 26th. He is also amid a lengthy 2023-2024 tour, including a performance at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles on December 7th. Perpetually guided by a desire to use his music to invoke and envision positive change, his new album seeks out climate solutions that might repair humanity’s relationship with nature.
Written by Glier and Ellis Paul, “Mammoth” uses the current research by Russian scientists who hope to restore the wooly mammoth as a jumping-off point for a wistful piece sung from the animal’s perspective. One that ruminates over the implications — for both the mammoth and humanity — that lie in the success of such a radical procedure.
Aided by his characteristically tender and earnest songwriting, he coaxes from this familiar click-bait headline an urgently prescient understanding of the existential confusion of being brought back from extinction. “They took my double helix / From the permafrost,” he murmurs from a resounding soundscape of increasingly resonant strings. “I still remember all the friends I lost.” Carefully fostering empathy for the revived mammal as they’re brought back to a world they neither recognize nor comprehend.
“They speak a language I don’t know / They cut my flesh / And freeze my bones / A heart to Oxford / A box to Spain / Where white coat men / Don’t speak my name / Do they even know me?”
The song unearths the pressing reason for returning the mammoth to the Siberian landscape. “There is some merit to this idea as a climate solution,” Glier explained via a post on Instagram. Grazing mammoths would play a vital role in maintaining and preserving the permafrost of the region — which exists as one of the Earth’s largest carbon reservoirs — preventing its degradation and the subsequent release of methane held within it.
In personifying the thoughts of the mammoth, Glier presents a poignant understanding of what it means to exist as a tiny blip of life on a planet that’s seen the rise and fall of myriad species. His gentle words serve as a reminder that humans are beholden to the same forces of nature that eventually led to the disappearance of these majestic creatures.
“Mammoth” also comes with a stunning music video by Tobias LaMontagne. Soundtracked by Glier’s elegiac lyricism and slow-burning melody, the film focuses on enchanting close-ups of blue-hued crystalline ice as it starts to thaw. It provides a visually soothing and contemplative backdrop for the song’s transcendent ambiance.
Words: Steven Ward
Everything the new album from Seth Glier arrives on January 26th; pre-order it here.
See Seth Glier at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles on December 7th.
Watch the music video for “Mammoth,” the new single from Seth Glier below!