In the latter half of Glass Period, Pasko starts to move beyond grief. In “Me Alone,” she repeats, “If you want to be alone then be alone, be alone” in different phrasings and tones—from a legato elegy to a dainty staccato—as if experimenting with the notion of being on her own. Throughout the whole album, Pasko maintains a similar sense of immediacy, perhaps the inevitable result of working through real events through her art. When she addresses her fears in the past tense in the “The Still” and intensifies the song after declaring, “I want to walk up to the tracks, hold my arms up, tilt my head back,” it feels like genuine catharsis, both on the part of the listener and the artist. As the song settles again, she sings, “I'm not that bad / I just want my feeling back,” and, answering her own wishes, the next song begins with a snippet of laughter from a recording session. “I’m going to keep going,” Pasko says after inhaling and before launching into a the final song in which she asks, “How lucky am I?”
Despite all of the immediacy, however, Glass Period also exhibits restraint, as well as a cleverness that requires critical distance. Though the compositions are mostly minimal, made up of sparse vocal lines, loose-sounding keys, and accents of saxophone and a few other effects, Pasko experiments with structure throughout the EP. None of the songs follow a typical verse-chorus pattern. In “Barking Dog,” for example, she returns to an anchoring phrase, “There’s a reason why the dog is barking,” but wanders around it, and in “Me Alone,” the refrain itself wanders. “The Still,” in contrast, has three distinct parts that build to a peak in the form of forcefully played piano chords with a low hum effect.
In a gorgeously delicate album, the one component that seems to be lacking is a rise in the vocals; even in the emotional climax of “The Still,” Pasko still sings relatively softly, as she does elsewhere in Glass Period. Because of this, though, the album favors subtlety. The listener follows as the vocal melody quietly descends on the phrase “float down” and in the slight wavering on in the repetitions of “I’m right” in the last song, attuned to the small variations that arise in the quiet. Muted and exquisite, Caitlin Pasko’s album is a testament to the beauty that can arise even in the most painful of circumstances.