Singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy’s songs are so straight and to the point that it’s easy to come away from listening to her debut album, “Emotions and Math,” feeling like you know her.

Glaspy grew up playing marching band trombone and participating in fiddle competitions. Influenced by Joni Mitchell and Elliot Smith, she later moved on to folk-rock before coming to New York and developing the louder, electric style she plays today.

amNewYork spoke with her.


How autobiographical are your songs?

I suppose there’s no way they can’t be somewhat autobiographical, but at the same time, I do like to think of songwriting as almost project-based or like a job where you show up and work away and puzzle things together. Overall, I would say it’s one part autobiographical and one part piecing things together and making projects out of them.


What is your writing process like?

I get hit with ideas all the time and I log them in the back of my brain. The more workday stuff happens consciously. When I’m working on guitar riffs or arranging the music, often I have to sit down and really work on it. But as far as the ideas, those are really potent. It just kind of happens. Those come to me all the time in different contexts.


A lot of these songs seem to be about accepting yourself. Have you struggled with?

For me, a lot of the songs have different meanings, but I don’t really think about that anymore. I was thinking about it when I made them, but I don’t talk about song meanings. I feel like whatever you think they’re about, they are. That’s the joy of releasing music. It doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. It’s all about what it means to people who are listening.


Where does the album title come from?

That one felt like it encapsulated me and also encapsulated the process of making the record. You’re dealing with a lot of emotive pieces in a kind of analytical way. “Emotions and Math” felt like a cool title for it.