SASAMI – “Callous”

Back in January, Sasami Ashworth announced that she was leaving Cherry Glazerr, the band she had been playing with for the last couple years, in order to pursue a solo career. The Los Angeles-based musician has established herself as something of a hired gun over the years, contributing to projects from Avi Buffalo, Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing, and Hand Habits. Which is to say that her first single, “Callous,” has the polish and assuredness of someone that’s been honing their craft for a long while now.

It boasts a killer opening line — “I lost my callouses for you” — that tells you pretty much all you need to know, both in the way those words suggest great loss and how it’s delivered, Ashworth’s voice gruff and burnt-out. It’s an undressing of a relationship that was imbalanced from the start: “I couldn’t even count the number of times that I let you in and I made myself small, even though I smiled throughout it all.” The song gains confidence as it goes along, building itself from the ashes as the lens of perspective gets less foggy with time. “When I look back, I can see myself so clear/ When I look back, I can see myself slipping down,” she sings.

It’s an extended unraveling, and Ashworth demonstrates her chops as a composer and musician by keeping it engaging through its five minute runtime. It’s a bleary smear that periodically crystallizes into sharp focus as elements are added: warbling synths and cascading guitars and punchy drums. By the end, all of these components are working together to conjure something impenetrable, a sort of callous of their very own.

Listen below.

04/03 Boise, ID @ The Reef*
04/04 Salt Lake, UT @ Metro Bar*
04/05 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater*
04/06 Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar*
04/07 Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Café*
04/10 Madison, WI @ Majestic Theater*
04/11 Chicago, IL @ .Lincoln Hall*
04/12 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme*
04/13 Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern*
04/14 Montreal, QC @ Theater Fairmount*
04/17 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Ballroom*
04/18 Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair*
04/19 Brooklyn @ Elsewhere*
04/20 Philadelphia, PA @ Foundry @ the Fillmore*
04/21 Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall*
04/24 Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West2*
04/26 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall*
04/27 Dallas, TX @ .Club Dada*
04/28 Austin, TX @ Levitation Festival
05/03 San Diego, CA @ Casbah+
05/11 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyes Jacks+
05/13 Nashville, TN @ Basement East+
05/14 Lexington, KY @ The Burl+
05/18 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg+
05/24 Detroit, MI @ El Club+
06/01 Seattle, WA @ Crocodile+
06/02 Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club+
06/03 Portland, OR @ Star Theater+
06/05 San Francisco @ The Independent+
06/07 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom+
* with Baths & No Joy
+ with King Tuff

“Callous” is out now. SASAMI’s debut album is due out in the fall.

CREDIT: Riley Blakeway