It feels personal and prodigious, but there is an urge of something more.
Label: Domino
Released: 8th March 2019
Rating: ★★★

SASAMI’s self-titled record is an amalgamation her impressive and expansive musical repertoire. Genre-wise, her debut doesn’t fit into a box. Instead, it explores the landscapes of indie, shoegaze, folk, bedroom pop and beyond. The buzzy ‘I Was A Window’ carefully drops you into this expressive album, that toys with a colourful, wide-eyed prism of textures and sounds that are sometimes sparse and sometimes abundant. ‘Not The Time’ is a paradox where the raucous noise is quite blissful, and the awkward bubbling on stand-out ‘Morning Comes’ features gorgeously layered eerie vocals where Sasami sings “don’t be sorry”, which turn to sharp guitar parts and claims that she’s actually not sorry.

‘SASAMI’ is deeply personal, having been written from a place of catharsis. ‘Free (feat. Devendra Banhart)’ is a track that amplifies this narrative, it’s barely there but still so emotional, toying with romance and a sense of wanderlust. ‘Pacify My Heart’ is a dark turn, yet the best Sasami offers on this debut. It’s a heartbreak song with a tick-tocking guitar hook. “Sometimes I wish I never met you” she sings, and when observing this track next to ‘Callous’, you fully experience and the intensity of Sasami’s textured soundscapes.

The songs on this debut were born as demos that SASAMI recorded on tour, and you really feel that story at the core of all the tracks. It feels personal and prodigious, but there is an urge of something more, a wish that she would express her vocals in an equally impassioned way as she does with the instrumentation, which would take this record to another dimension.

Jasleen Dhindsa

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