SASAMI is the sound of an artist stepping into the limelight and forging their own distinctive sound

Album Review by Eugenie Johnson | 08 Mar 2019
Album title: SASAMI
Artist: SASAMI
Label: Domino
Release date: 8 Mar

Across the course of a year, Sasami Ashworth travelled alongside garage-rockers Cherry Glazerr, playing keys and guitars with the band. In between their many stops along the road though, she was penning the tracks that would become her debut solo collection. Detailing the highlights and lowlights of her relationships, SASAMI bears some familiar hallmarks of her touring bandmates but Ashworth bends these conventions into something her own as she experiments with tone and analog recording.

Much of SASAMI occupies a space that is both expansive yet intimate; there’s guitar squalls and riffs that bend between guitar-pop and occasionally psychedelic tones, but also a hushed, lo-fi aesthetic that peppers its ten tracks, illuminating the more confessional side of her work. So while the bass-laden Morning Comes is up-tempo and scuzzy with rolling drum beats, it smoothly glides into follow-up Free (featuring Devendra Banhart), which propels itself almost entirely on gentle, repeated percussion. On Jealousy, Ashworth’s creeping, shuffling verses give way to an ecstatic yet sinister chorus during the hook and Callous sees her employing a classic loud-quiet-loud formula alongside her contemplative, conversational vocals.

Not every track here is quite as immediate – there are some moments here that feel a bit too languid – but SASAMI is still the sound of an artist stepping into the limelight and forging their own distinctive sound.

Listen to: Jealousy