Reviews

SASAMI
SASAMI

(Domino)

7/10

Sasami Ashworth had plenty of time to think during her year-long tour playing keys and guitar with Cherry Glazerr. It provided her with a period of time to write the ten tracks that comprise her debut album; tracks that depict an individual at times riddled with resentment, and at others seeking and perhaps achieving catharsis.

“I was a window into something you didn’t like/ So you blamed it on me” are the album’s opening words, a gauntlet thrown into the void. Ashworth’s vocals are hushed, the treated guitar humming, threatening to break into menace at the slightest nudge. “I lost my calluses for you and you didn’t even think to ask me how my day was/ Now I’m leaving” is the even more savage opening salvo of ‘Callous’, rejoicing in a callous/callus entendre that cannot be under appreciated.

If Ashworth is bitter, the Sonic Youth guitar rage of ‘Not the Time’, or the dissonant feedback that starts ‘Free’, do a good job of articulating it. But there is musical range here: ‘Morning Comes’ is a beguilingly lo-fi concoction, muffled but taut, writhing under the strain of its confines, keeping its deceptively sweet melody a secret.

There is a reflexive honesty at play too, especially on the restrained and tender ‘Pacify My Heart’, where Ashworth’s tripping, high and low vocals almost invoke Elliott Smith, as the listener leans in to hear her whisper; or on ‘Jealousy’, wherein the voices in her head are made literal, Macbeth’s three witches repeating the track’s title over and over. Now really, who can’t relate to that?

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