She built her chops the time-honored way: by playing in every tri-state area venue she could log onto her schedule, learning to give hushed atmospherics to an attentive audience and hurl blistering soul-grabbers at those who were on their twelfth beer. The music on this album is the result of all those nights of tight work with a band, cleaned up and made pristine. Listening to the often deceptively simple arrangements (drums, electric and steel guitar, discreet bass), it is immediately obvious that this is the work of a seasoned pro. Ironically, during her recent performances, Sasha augmented the rhythm section and brought in a gifted sax player—her musical vision is developing at breakneck speed, and we’re privileged to hear these striking beginnings with, already, a feeling of nostalgia.
In a field saturated with special effects and escalating dramatics, Sasha’s clear-as-a-bell songs bring with them a weird sense of recognition—this is how songs can actually be, this is what they can mean: for reference, just go back to Neil Young of the “After the Goldrush” era, or think of Elton John of “Your Song.” (Incidentally, Sasha does a killer version of “Only Love Can break Your Heart” in performance.) As was the case with Mr. Young, Sasha’s songs may strike you as pop at first, yet you quickly become aware that they’re anything but; the boundaries are pushed way beyond that easy categorization. Sasha’s blend of traditional classical technique with pop and folk influences has produced a completely new, homegrown sound that moves indiscriminately from aching to foot-stomping, often within the same song. Sasha is currently performing with her band around Manhattan, promoting her first album.
Catch her if you can: you’ll take with you memories of raw energy that ties in neatly with the sophisticated sound of her first album. -as reported by Christopher St. Clair, music reviewer Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..