Album cover artwork for Sasami with transparent vinyl record popping outWrithing with an“anti-toxic positivity” which plumes from sumptuous arrangements, Sasami Ashworth’s second album flings between melodic metal and folk-rock confessionals, never spilling a drop from the goblet of oppressor’s tears she holds aloft.

From the first moments of opener Skin a Rat (which features Megadeth drummer Dirk Verbeuren, and sounds like a lullaby cooed at you while you’re buried alive), Ashworth’s spider-legged guitars pick over lush arrangements, and her unignorable knack for poignancy and power evokes Sharon Van Etten and Sheryl Crow. Call Me Home comes floating in like a Brian Eno mothership before opening into cloud-busting beauty, and the title track is propulsive art-rock with dissonant guitar and gloriously unsettling harmonies.

The whole thing is combed through with the qualities of a feminine and terrifying Japanese folk spirit Ashworth learned about while researching her own Korean-Japanese heritage: Nure-onna (“wet woman”) has the head of a woman, the body of a snake, and she kills her victims by draining their arteries with her blood-sucking tongue. We’re smitten.

Squeeze by Sasami is out Feb 25 via Domino.

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