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Glaive’s love-torn on debut ‘all dogs go to heaven’

Teenage hyperpop phenom Glaive is no stranger to standing out amongst the crowd.

His sound is euphoric, captivating listeners with both genre-bending production and insanely catchy hooks. Along with his natural ability, his use of double vocal stems, metallic three-tone harmonies and touting an undeniable mainstream appeal, Glaive is the epitome of what music is going to sound like.

First making songs at the height of the pandemic, Glaive is ahead of the curve — knocking on the door of superstardom with each passing release — and on his debut EP all dogs go to heaven, the North Carolina native’s talent is on full display for all to hear. While short and to the point at 17 minutes long, the project is potent, melodic and refined, as Glaive’s intrinsic gift for heartbreakingly emotive songwriting supplies the record’s momentum throughout.

In other words, the album is iridescent — filled with shimmering, melodic instrumentals equipped with a mature songwriting ability virtually unknown in any other 17-year-old. Revered for tattered, emotive songs like his 2020 hit “Astrid” — a love song that earned him his star practically overnight — Glaive’s overt relatability in his music is only at the cusp of what it could be. Much like “Astrid,” all dogs go to heaven is jam-packed with snapshots of Glaive’s influences — offering versatility at every twist and turn.

The project’s opener “1984” feels more like an emo-rap track than a pop anthem. With sliding electric guitar chords and crisp percussion, Glaive’s voice is instantly captivating — drawing listeners in by crooning about betrayal and moving on for the better.

I wasn’t lyin’ when I said that you meant everything to me

But I guess everything means nothin’ when you’re lyin’ through your teeth

And all those nothings they meant everything when you were next to me

And I ain’t frontin’ that my new girl she’ll do anything for me

Glaive — “1984”

With other highlights in “poison,” “stephany” and “synopsis,” Glaive’s pop influences truly shine through. Previously citing Kesha, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift as inspirations for creating emotional pop music, sultry and melodic hooks are what makes Glaive special — especially in a genre as innovative as hyperpop. “stephany” is a prime example of Glaive’s exquisite genre-bending, meshing hyperpop, pop-punk, rock, hip-hop and electro all in one. His voice exudes a level of teenage angst that is not only admirable, but relatable, as the young superstar touches on themes of lost love, relationships, growing up and more.

On “synopsis,” Glaive croons about understanding the mature emotions that circles in his head, accompanied by a pop-punk instrumental which explodes into a barrage of booming kicks in the track’s contained chaos. The album’s lead single “i wanna slam my head against the wall” is another instance of Glaive’s talent for pulling listeners in and out of the “mosh pit” of sorts — swaying hyperpop’s pulsating production with a variety of softer melodies.

bastard” and “detest me” assume the project’s strongest efforts. “bastard” is the hard-hitting hyperpop/hip-hop infusion touting Glaive’s surprising rapping prowess. With arpeggiated guitar samples and a visceral hook, its replay value is immense — much like the entirety of the record.

The outro “all dogs go to heaven” is an ode to better days, speaking on his insecurities, imperfections and how they’ve made Glaive who he is today. Mixing positive messages with self-deprecating views of selfishness, the underlying lust that radiates from the track is immersive, putting listeners at center-stage of a dimly lit concert hall filled with cell-phone lights set for an encore.

While all dogs go to heaven feels like a sample platter of Glaive’s eclectic nature, it’s only just the beginning for the teen superstar in the making.

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