Artist: Sasha Sloan
Album: Self Portrait
Record Label: RCA Records
Recommended Tracks: Track 2- “Keep On”, Track 7- “smiling when i die”
Sasha Sloan released her album titled Self Portrait on October 18, 2019. It’s a pretty short album, only consisting of seven songs and a duration of twenty-two minutes. The album is on the softer side in terms of sound and it has a simple approach when it comes to production. At times, she seems to be leaning more toward a pop-sound and other times she leans toward an indie/alt sound, but it’s interesting to hear the blending of genres and sound throughout the album. It seems that Sasha focused mostly on her songwriting and aimed for it to be at the forefront of Self Portrait. Her lyrics are autobiographical and very transparent as she sings about mental health, fears, and life experiences. In its entirety, it’s a good album especially if you enjoy indie-pop music. I rate it a 3.5 out of 5.
Out of this collection of songs, two that stand out are the third and seventh track, “Keep On” and “smiling when i die.” I think these two songs are the strongest out of the seven on the album and showcase the best instrumentation, vocals, and production. “Keep On” has a hopeful undertone; she sings about trying her best to stay strong when she finds herself struggling with her mental health. The song has a positive message and has a nice beat, especially during the chorus. Lyrically it’s repetitive but it seems to be intentional to serve as a constant reminder of her internally telling herself that she’ll be okay even when things feel overwhelming at times. Instrumentally, there’s an electronic beat underneath the vocals and it adds a nice layer pulling from elements of pop music.
The seventh track, “smiling when i die” is the last song on the album. I think if people listen to only one song on the album it should be this one. Instrumentally, the song opens with short guitar plucks that are later joined by electronic drum beats. Production-wise, this is the best song on Self Portrait because of how well the song flows. It’s a cohesive ending to the album considering what Sasha is singing about. Lyrically, the song is referring to her making a conscious effort to live in a way that she will be proud of what she has accomplished and who she has become so that when she dies, she feels content instead of feeling regretful. Overall, Self Portrait is a nice album to listen to. While it has darker tones and is at a slower and soft pace, it has its uplifting moments and positive messages.