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Sasami’s self-titled debut album displays raw vulnerability

9.3

Sasami Ashworth’s debut record, SASAMI, is a smooth union of synthesizer and guitar reverb that puts Ashworth’s compelling vulnerability to the forefront.

The album opens with “I Was a Window,” featuring Dustin Payseur. The soothing buzz of synths and quiet guitar seamlessly integrates Ashworth and Payseur’s cool vocals. Deceptively gentle, “I Was a Window” is a strong opening that is only the tip of the iceberg of Ashworth’s prowess in balancing melancholy and pulsing instrumentals.

Ashworth maintains that sound throughout the album, artfully weaving alluring melodies against deeply personal lyrics. Her vulnerability shines through in her masterful vocalwork as her voice quivers in tracks like “Free” and “Jealousy.” “Not the Time,” the album’s second single, is a deceptively upbeat track with masterful guitarwork from Ashworth’s brother, JooJoo. SASAMI also features the vocals of Devendra Banhart and Soko on the tracks “Free” and “Adult Contemporary,” respectively; both deliver stunning performances that harmonize with Ashworth’s voice flawlessly.

The most powerful element of the album is the pure emotion in each song. Ashworth sings about heartbreak, loneliness and the complexities within her past relationships. Her enchantingly subtle and crooning vocals soar beautifully over the shrilly distorted guitars of “Callous” to the warbling synths of “Morning Comes.” The blend of hypnotically gauzy instrumentals and raw vulnerability makes SASAMI a gripping and deeply personal chronicle that is a powerful debut for Ashworth.

By Natalie Jiang, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of pitchfork.com

The Breakdown


Beats
9
Voice
10
Lyrics
9
Mood
9


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