Sasami’s self-titled debut album displays raw vulnerability
Sasami Ashworthâ€™s debut record, SASAMI, is a smooth union of synthesizer and guitar reverb that puts Ashworthâ€™s compelling vulnerability to the forefront.
The album opens with â€śI Was a Window,â€ť featuring Dustin Payseur. The soothing buzz of synths and quiet guitar seamlessly integrates Ashworth and Payseurâ€™s cool vocals. Deceptively gentle, â€śI Was a Windowâ€ť is a strong opening that is only the tip of the iceberg of Ashworthâ€™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 â€śFreeâ€ť and â€śJealousy.â€ť â€śNot the Time,â€ť the albumâ€™s second single, is a deceptively upbeat track with masterful guitarwork from Ashworthâ€™s brother, JooJoo. SASAMI also features the vocals of Devendra Banhart and Soko on the tracks â€śFreeâ€ť and â€śAdult Contemporary,â€ť respectively; both deliver stunning performances that harmonize with Ashworthâ€™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 â€śCallousâ€ť to the warbling synths of â€śMorning Comes.â€ť 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