Secret Meeting score: 77

by Philip Moss

It’s only fitting that International Women’s Day sees yet more music released by yet another new, exciting female artist. SASAMI – the experimental multi-instrumentalist and producer who has left the comfortable confines of her LA-based band, Cherry Glazerr – has followed her heart. The result is a self titled debut that is unwilling to adhere to genrefication.

From the record’s opening, it’s another female artist whose shadow seems to loom large both melodically and palette wise – the understated I Was A Window’s near spoken vocals and blurry synths recalling St Vincent’s magnus opus, Strange Mercy.

Devendra Banhart joins SASAMI on the record’s most lo-fi moment, Free –  a beguiling duet that contextualises questions of trust versus wanderlust. Pacify My Heart opens with aching 90s emo guitars, and tracks the aftermath of an emotional breakup – ‘Sometimes I wish I never met you,’ she repeats. And just at the point where you feel it will ramble towards its conclusion, it falls into a fuzzy blur that somehow juxtaposes, but at the same time represents, the situation documented. While ironically, one of the LP’s most playful sounding moments, Not The Time, is its most blunt – ‘Even though we tried to make it work, it doesn’t.’ While the Annie Clarke comparisons return once more on the record’s most conspicuous pop cut – the playful, Jealousy.

In her own words, the album is like a series of ‘over-dramatic drafts of texts that you compose in the Notes section of your iPhone, but either way, they come from a place of getting something off my chest.’ But unlike Julia Jacklin’s deeply emotive, Crushing, released last month, SASAMI doesn’t choose to bear all – and the ambiguity is definitely part of the charm.

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