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SASAMI – real name Sasami Ashworth – has long been an established member of Los Angeles indie circles, having performed as part of Cherry Glazerr and having worked with Nate Walcott of Bright Eyes. Her circle of collaborators and friends reads like a who’s-who of the scenes most exciting stars, from indie-pop trio HAIM to former Rilo Kiley star-turned country innovator Jenny Lewis, and indie veteran and recent Better Oblivion Community Centre co-star Conor Oberst. And this just barely scratches the surface.
Live, it’s easy to see how SASAMI has acquired such an influential circle of creatives, as she pairs her grunge infused lo-fi numbers with an impassioned force, breaking the gentle swells of the likes of standout Not The Time and Pacify My Heart with guttural screams. It’s as much a release of tension as it is SASAMI demonstrating her visceral enjoyment of being on stage with her friends.
The balance is perfect, from the seriously intricate musicality to the vibrant performance. As the fuzzed guitar dominates across London’s atypically glittering venue, SASAMI and her bandmates recall sweaty tales, taking time out to repeatedly thank their touring team – a particular accolade saved for their tour manager; a “white man they like” she jokes with a knowing wink.
It’s indicative of the inclusive message running throughout SASAMI’s sound, a voice for the under-represented and one mirrored in the diversity of tonight’s audience. There’s an empowering energy emanating from the stage, due in large to Ashworth’s notable confidence and her unrestrained delivery. In her uniqueness and that of her fellow bandmates, SASAMI lands on the celebration of the individual and of difference. This unfiltered assuredness runs throughout the sound, one as gentle as it is powerful.
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