Sasami dons a metal jacket | The music

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OWhen Sasami (Ashworth) headlined Lulu’s Downstairs in July 2019, she was fresh off a stint on synthesizer with LA pop-punk band Cherry Glazerr. The soothing synth-pop of her self-titled debut album may have surprised some, but Sasami was still surprising fans.

During the lockdown, she reinforced concepts of cultural appropriation and decided to appropriate her own cis white male culture as represented in heavy metal. The concept is not new — Canadian Leslie Feist, for example, recorded with Mastodon. But, being Sasami, the second album Press (Domino) had to be more than headbutts and snarling vocals.

Admittedly, the opening track “Skin a Rat” is delightfully fuzzy and gritty at the same time, and other songs like “Say It” use loud guitars. But it’s not long before “Tried to Understand” or “Not a Love Song” switch to near-acoustic guitars behind achingly beautiful vocals. It was clear in Sasami’s debut album that a new solo artist was unleashed. It’s now apparent that she can roam multiple genres, fine-tuning her sound while refusing to be pigeonholed by sampled styles.

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