"I made a literal vow to God or Goddess or whatever it is that if I ever got the chance to sing again I would dedicate my career to writing music that made people want to stay alive and feel empowered and make the world a better place," Mae recalls. She began tackling issues about race, feminism, gender equality, body positivity and the LGBTQ+ community on her 2016 EP, I Am Enough, and mental health became the next frontier for Glimmer.
"I was so open about everything else -- my being queer and being fat and my politics. The one thing I had never really talked about was my mental illness," Mae says. "I realized, through my fans, that was the next thing. That's the next marginalized group I needed to talk about. It was hard, because there's so much f***ing shame around mental illness that we don't talk about it. But there's a lot of people, one in four Americans, that struggle with it, so I thought it was time to say something and write songs about it."
The rest of Glimmer, according to Mae, dives further into her deliberate bottoming out after touring to promote I Am Enough -- which she did with the full knowledge and assistance from her wife, therapist and others close to her. "I had a purpose," Mae says. "I want this record to be a tool in the toolbox for my fans. Therapists talk about how you need to have a tool box so that when you’re feeling low you've got to pull some of those things out -- exercise, go for a walk, get sunshine, anything that can help you so you don't ever dive too deep. I want these (songs) to be tools people can use if they feel on the edge of their life.
"So I had a goal when I was writing these songs -- for (fans) and for me. The messages I get are not 'Yeah, I partied to your songs this weekend and I went on a road trip and blasted your songs.' What I get is, 'I didn't commit suicide 'cause I listened to your song' or 'I came out because of you' or 'I left my abusive partner because of your song.' Those are the messages I get. So f*** this music business; As long as I'm doing the work of keeping people alive, I'm successful."