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Sasami | Sasami

The L.A. singer-songwriter's debut album is as distinctive as her name.

If you’re going to go by one name, it better be something distinctive. Like Sasami. With an opening handle like that, the L.A. indie-pop singer-songwriter and former Cherry Glazerr keyboardist — whose last name is the comparatively bland Ashworth, BTW — clearly doesn’t need to worry about people confusing her with anyone else. Her self-titled debut album also helps in that regard. Understated yet captivating, the exceptional 10-song disc is distinguished by its peculiarly seductive confluence of elements. Pretty melodies share space with noisy synthesizers and squealing guitars; sweetly breezy vocals convey melancholic tales of relationships gone awry; pop-rock sensibilities dance atop experimental soundscapes with a shoegazing fetish and well-poised post-rock artistry; arrangements unspool with an open-ended stream-of-consciousness feel, but the tracks that house them are tightly constructed, self-contained and never veer off the rails into self-indulgence. Basically, it’s every bit as memorable as her name. And interestingly enough, hers might not be the oddest handle in the family; her guitarist brother is apparently named JooJoo. If he ever makes an album, it should be amazing.

STANDOUTS: Not the Time, Free, Jealousy.

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