Published Mar 05, 2019Sasami Ashworth is coming into her own as a solo artist following several years spent collaborating with myriad bands, most notably Cherry Glazerr. Her understated, yet powerful, debut, Sasami, is a record of instrumental detail and quietly weighty lyrics that stem from processing a variety of relationship changes over the course of a year.
Ashworth balances noisier guitar with clever melodies on "Not the Time," an invigorating and poppy acceptance of a would-be connection. The anticipation and building of instrumentation in "Morning Comes" effortlessly segues into Ashworth's refrain of "Don't be sorry." Her stream-of-consciousness lyrics follow the rhythm of the track, its interlocking backing vocals and guitar driving forward.
"Free" is an ever-so-delicate recognition of the ending of a relationship; Devendra Banhart's barely there backing vocals complement Ashworth's with ease. As her guitar lines dip into melancholy, she nearly whispers, "You don't know what it means to be free." She is able to calmly deliver the ruminations of "Pacify My Heart," which swirl into steady drones of guitar and synths, Ashworth's voice leaving the song early on.
The record's singles fit into Sasami as high points, each providing a different element of Ashworth's range. "Turned Out I Was Everyone" is a beautiful closer to the album, cascading loops of beats and vocals effortlessly soothing as she sings, "Thought I was the only one / To be so alone in the night," turning from isolation to universal experience.
Sasami is a gifted writer who is careful to develop arrangements that heighten the emotions of her songs. Listeners will relish the detail poured into her debut, its polish not too shiny to obscure the raw experiences that its songs are drawn from. (Domino)