SASAMI captures a year in the life of indie singer-songwriter Sasami Ashworth. The Los Angeles-based, conservatory-trained (French horn!) musician found herself freshly unattached, and she decided to search for clarity while on tour playing keyboards with Cherry Glazerr. The inevitable downtime turned into productive time as she explored guitar and discovered her songwriting voice. “The songs were written at the beginning of a chapter of myself being single for the first time in like three years,” she told Apple Music. “Being on tour nonstop and having this total freedom, I had experienced every different emotion you could feel. I was meeting new people, relationships with my friends were changing because my life was changing, or because my own self-worth was changing.” The songs on SASAMI are cutting and personal, processing the past to better understand the future, seemingly culled from texts never sent. The musical framework contains shoegaze-y goodness (“Not the Time,” “Callous”), a love of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp (“I Was a Window”), and confident indie triumphs (“Morning Comes,” “Turned Out I Was Everyone”). SASAMI revealed three key inspirations behind her self-titled debut: Isolation and independence “There’s a space on the Cherry Glazerr tour that I was given to be alone to write. I would cheekily write lyrics in the van; even when we stopped for bathroom breaks and everyone would get out, I would have some idea. I was inspired by that. I wrote in such different places: Hamburg, Atlanta, San Francisco. I was really inspired by this in-the-moment writing style. I wasn’t in the studio, I wasn’t in my house, I was sitting on a curb in Atlanta. That aloneness was really inspiring to me. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, I was trying to capture something in the moment.” Her brother Joo Joo “I’m the oldest of four, he’s the youngest. He’s about five years younger than me. I went to school for French horn, and he didn’t play music. When I came back, he was playing guitar in a band (Froth). He got really obsessed with analog recording and guitar pedals, guitar tone, and amps. He took me under his wing and taught me a lot. He produced the album along with me. What I love is that he does not give a s--t about what anyone thinks. Because I played in orchestra and was a music teacher, I never thought of myself as a front person. I always thought of myself as a collaborator, a supporting person. So I was very inspired by my brother’s dedication to his own vision.” The guitar I think of this album as a guitar étude. I wrote all the guitar parts, even if I didn’t play them. My brother played a lot of the guitar; he’s technically a better player. I wanted to have the perspective of being in the control room, listening to the overall songs. I wrote parts that were hard for me to play so that I could become a better player. I don’t really discover chords by noodling; I hear the chord in my head and have to figure out how to play it.”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada