Sasha Sloan knows how to articulate her inner dark thoughts in the most beautiful and honest way. Never compromising her artistic vision, the Californian singer-songwriter draws from a raw place where she’s overcome heartbreak and self-loathing by growing from the situations that have arisen in life. But by also just being authentically herself and allowing herself to be emotional and to feel all of the ups and downs of life.
Her third EP ‘Self Portrait’ is a continuation of the honest indie-pop that her previous collections have introduced and hears her diving even deeper into the depths of her vulnerability. Opening with the candid ‘Thoughts’, she delivers a track that anyone that has battled with anxiety or depression will be able to perfectly relate to. “I swear to God I’m trying, but I don’t know how to be, how to be a good friend to me” she heartbreakingly confesses in the final moments of the sweeping hook.
The soothing and relaxed production hears a soft plucking of the strings of an electric guitar leading the way. As the song grows the addition of a pulsating DIY beat is added to lift the layering. There’s an element of hope that lives in that production that will have you searching for the inner strength to be honest with yourself.
Continuing on from that production style ‘Thank God’ is a confessional track all about the sins she’s made in her lifetime and being okay with it because after all she’s human. “Thank God for making a Hell. Thank God for making a place full of fire and greedy-ass liars, where I’m just like everyone else. Thank God for Hell” she sings during the highly catchy and honest hook.
Majority of this EP is very laidback. The production style is relaxed and cinematically beautiful as it allows the storylines and her candid confessions to take to the spotlight. The piano led ballad ‘Dancing With Your Ghost’ hears her trying to find acceptance after a close loved one passes away while the sweeping beat driven ‘At Least I Cool’ addresses pretentiousness in the current social media culture. But stripping it all back to a minimalist guitar and simple strings, ‘Too Sad To Cry’ is a song for anyone that has battled with depression and struggled with the blurring lines of not being able to understand what is wrong or why they feel so sad all the time.
With a lot of strong songs in this collection, there is one track in particular which will steal your heart away. ’Keep On’ is the hopeful emotional moment that reflects on depression and anxiety and the internal hope of wanting to get better. “The walls are starting to cave in. Sometimes, I wish I was somebody else. When my mind starts misbehaving is when I tell myself; Okay baby, you’ll be okay. You just gotta keep, gotta keep on” she heartbreakingly admits during the hook.
With the soothing harmonies and a gradually growing production, she delivers the perfect indie-pop moment. It provides hope to people who are in a similar headspace and need something to remind themselves that they will be okay. And it’s for this reason that it’s become one of my favourite ever Sasha Sloan songs.
Closing the EP with the hopeful anthem ‘Smiling When I Die’, she admits that she’s content with the person she is. She wants to be able to say that if she was to die right now she would die smiling because she would be happy with everything she’s done. It’s a dark but touching sentiment that has her focusing on living in the moment and doing everything she can that makes her happy in life. “Don’t wanna look back thinking I could’ve done this, or I could’ve tried that. Don’t wanna look back cause it’s going by fast” she admits during the pre chorus about the personal revelation she had.
With the simple plucking of a guitar, soothing beats and echoing vocals, this track is a dreamy collection of hopeful feelings which perfectly ties together all of the vulnerable moments she has allowed her listeners be apart of.
‘Self Portrait’ is Sasha Sloan’s strongest body of work yet and solidifies her strength as a songwriter and the impact she can have with her vulnerable and honest storylines.