A review of Sasha Sloan’s sophomore EP,Loser.
I started listening to Sasha Sloan coming out of after listening to “Normal,” her lead single on her previous EP, on my Discover Weekly playlist. Immediately, the infectious electronic beats contrasted with the melancholic disposition of living through her twenties captivated me. Although I do not find her experiences relatable (since i’m not a 23-year-old pop star living in LA), I do appreciate the aesthetic she communicates. Beyond her songs, Sasha utilizes her musical career to capture a sort of image that glorifies sadness into a perfume. As a self-described sad girl, Sasha captures her progression through her twenties through the lens of loneliness, love, and aging.
The EP starts with the soft guitar strumming of “The Only,” the lead single of Loser that discussing feelings about loneliness while drinking by herself. Through her musings in her bedroom, Sasha’s feelings of loneliness within the context of a longing to for someone else who shares her sentiments of alienation (hi sasha! my name is grant and i’m really fucking lonely). The title of the track is explained in the chorus, which elaborates her questioning of whether her feelings of alienation were exclusive to her. The second pre-chorus and chorus is separated by a haunting and melodic bridge that builds to an inconclusive ending note, paralleling the inconclusive nature of her self-denial.
“Faking it,” the second track of the EP, refers to the sensation of being in a relationship and continuously lying to her partner and herself because she has sublimated the sensation to familiarity. “Older” alludes to a series of realizations of the difficulties in living that come with aging that had been unknown to her previously (thanks reality; i hate reality). “Version of Me” discusses her self-described sad nature relative to her relationships, positing the confession that she does not represent the qualities that traditionally define an ideal partner. “Chasing Parties” refers to the dampening of her desires to party after finding someone who allows her to be comfortable being herself.
The final track of the EP, “Again,” reflects upon the fallout of a relationship that does not have a future for reconciliation. Given the same choice to repeat her experiences without the prospect of being friends, Sasha claims that she would take the same opportunity to experience the relationship again, signifying that she believes that relationships are worth pursuing even given a certain ending. Briefly discussing the notion that love is not a choice, Sasha reconstructs her experience through an understanding that even though her break up has caused her suffering, the pleasure of falling in love far exceeds the pain of falling out of love.
‘Cause even if I knew it would end (even if I knew it would end)— Sasha Sloan, “Again”
Even if I knew we wouldn’t walk away friends
I’d still do it again (still do it again)
I’d still do it again (still do it again)
Sasha Sloan has appeared in numerous songs before, including many notable collaborations with Kaskade, ODESZA, and Kygo, and she has been a rising star in the pop world for some time now. Her latest EP builds off the sentiment communicated in her previous EP, sad girl, and she continually builds off the aesthetic of sadness that is her life. As someone who also romanticized the idea of sadness (and also someone who consistently listens to pop music over all other genres), I found Sasha’s latest EP to perfectly match my music tastes. Even without delving into the production and lyrical quality of her music, her songs have already solidified themselves into my conceptualization of my twenties.
Spanning only six songs, Loser covers a variety of topics in her twenties revolving around a central theme of vulnerability. From redefining her relationship to her friends and family to the classic examples of heartbreak, Sasha beautifully combines her vocals with haunting instrumental melodies laced through the bridge in “The Only” or in the chorus of “Faking It.” Through songs like “Chasing Parties,” Sasha tactfully breaks an otherwise monotonous and melancholic soundscape with a song with a happier message before returning to her central theme with her most confessional song, “Again.” After listening through the entire EP, I could not help but appreciate how deliberately structured it had been.
Loser solidifies much of the experimental style that Sasha has cultivated until now, and I look forwards towards continuing to listen to her music. Although I have not experienced similar experiences to Sasha, I find it deeply comforting that she communicates many of the sentiments that I wish I could express through my writing. Approaching my twenties just as she had been when she moved to LA to pursuit a career as a music writer, I find solace that I could returns to the songs of Loser to re-capture a sentiment that defines my twenties.