Ominous, cacophonous synth patterns, thunderous 808s, incongruous flute melodies, and alluring vocal hooks— putting these seemingly antithetical elements together, you get the openly unique sound of SASSY 009, an all-female experimental pop trio based in Oslo. Released through Luft Recordings/Hard Up, the group have shared the Do you mind EP, serving as their debut. In just five songs, SASSY 009 demonstrate their ability to create art that is both portentous and captivating, doing so in a melodic, innovative fashion.
The EP kicks off in an apocalyptically cacophonous manner with “Summin’ you up.” Hauntingly delicate vocal expressions floating over a dark, rumbling synth immediately transport the listener into an uncomfortable state of reflection in which they can’t help but think of their past wrongdoings. Accusatory in nature, “Summin’ you up” is perhaps the most aggressive track on the Do you mind EP, throwing their audience into the fire immediately. Following a turbulent build consisting of bit-crushed white noise, we are given a very well executed, Death Grips-inspired drop with its production and sense of controlled chaos. Sonically oozing from every corner, the climax succeeds in releasing the amalgamation of tension which started building at the beginning of the track.
Spurring from the momentum of “Summin’ you up” comes the lead single off the record, “Pretty Baby.” With an addicting bass line and a charming vocal melody, the song depicts an obsession conjured through rose-tinted goggles, destructively evolving to the point of alienation from what caused that obsession in the first place. The sparse, dry percussion adds to the trio’s cold, collected attitude, however the warm, bow-like synth devises an aura of assurance and security.
The record’s juxtaposition between jittery, boisterous synthesizers and deftly crafted vocal lines separates SASSY 009 from their peers, allowing them to impact multiple audiences at once. A debut this cohesive and refined is rather atypical, especially given its largely experimental and stylistically coalescent nature. The sound of SASSY 009 resembles some sort of paradoxical puzzle; it doesn't seem like the pieces should fit, but, somehow, they just do. Pick up the EP here.