Watch SASAMI's gorgeous 3-song outdoor performance recorded on a beautiful spring day

SASAMI performs a set along Waller Creek in Austin, Texas, during the 2019 South By Southwest music festival. (The Current)

As part of The Current's programming from the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, singer-songwriter SASAMI performed a set of songs at a private residence nestled along Waller Creek.

Songs Performed


"Not the Time"
"Free"
"Callous"
All songs from SASAMI's self-titled 2019 album, available on Domino Recording Company.

Song by Song

About SASAMI


For an artist who has just released her debut album, SASAMI is no newcomer to the music scene. After spending years working with artists in the studio, teaching music lessons and playing in indie-rock band Cherry Glazerr, SASAMI is honing her own voice on her self-titled solo album.

Sasami Ashworth grew up surrounded by music, studying classical performance and majoring in French horn, music education and composition at a music school in upstate New York. After graduating, she taught music lessons and arranged orchestral music for films. She has also contributed vocals, horn and string arrangements to artists like Vagabon, Hand Habits and Wild Nothing.

Ashworth joined the band Cherry Glazerr, adding synths to the trio's gritty indie rock. Despite her impressive musical résumé, Ashworth never took center stage, always accompanying others or putting in work behind the scenes. During breaks between touring with Cherry Glazerr, she began writing songs — for herself, this time. After a few months, she had written and recorded an entire album, and in 2018 left Cherry Glazerr to pursue her solo work.

She released the album's first single herself, uploading the track "Callous" to Soundcloud. Soon after, indie label Domino Records signed her. SASAMI released her self-titled debut album on March 8 with the label. Even before the album's release, SASAMI began making waves for her solo work, playing opening sets for artists like Mitski, Snail Mail, Soccer Mommy and Japanese Breakfast.

Since the record was written between stretches of tour, SASAMI wrote quickly, trying not to overwork the songs' lyrics. "I couldn't even count the number of times / that I let you in and I made myself small," she sings in a deadpan tone on "Callous." "Not the Time" laments a past relationship, and its music video shows SASAMI toting her French horn around the streets of Los Angeles on her bike, wearing overdrawn blush and a painted-on moustache.

A number of collaborators contributed to the album — like Hand Habits's Meg Duffy, and Devandra Banhart, who added dreamy backing vocals to the song "Free" — but the record puts SASAMI's voice front and center, mixing her poetic lyrics with wistful instrumentals.

     – Colleen Cowie

About the Venue

The residence belongs to the mother-in-law of KUTX program director Matt Reilly — who, coincidentally, used to work with The Current's program director Jim McGuinn when Reilly and McGuinn worked at WXPN in Philadelphia.

The home is in a residential neighborhood that backs up against Waller Creek, which winds its way into downtown Austin — really into the heart of the SXSW experience; for example, Stubb's, one of the showcase locations, also backs up to the creek.

     – Brett Baldwin

External Link

SASAMI - official site

Video Credits


Cameras: Nate Ryan, Mary Mathis, Brett Baldwin
Video Edit: Minju Kim, Helen Teague
Audio: Veronica Rodriguez, Corey Schreppel
Production Manager: Erik Stromstad

Related Stories

7 Photos

  • Sasami performs at SXSW 2019
    Sasami performs a set of songs at a private residence in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2019. (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Sasami performs at SXSW 2019
    Sasami performs a set of songs at a private residence in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2019. (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Sasami performs at SXSW 2019
    Sasami performs a set of songs at a private residence in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2019. (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Sasami performs at SXSW 2019
    Sasami performs a set of songs at a private residence in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2019. (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Sasami performs at SXSW 2019
    Sasami performs a set of songs at a private residence in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2019. (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Sasami performs at SXSW 2019
    Sasami performs a set of songs at a private residence in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2019. (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Sasami performs at SXSW 2019
    Sasami performs a set of songs at a private residence in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2019. (Mary Mathis | MPR)

comments powered by Disqus