DIIV

w/ SASAMI, Glixen
Treefort Music Hall
Thursday, June 13th, 2024
7:00PM
$32 adv / $35 DOS

Over the last decade, DIIV have established themselves as one of rock music’s most fascinating bands, exploring new textures while pushing their songcraft forward in a way that continues to draw in larger audiences worldwide. They combine beauty and noise to the point of approaching a lush oblivion—a searing sound building on elements from dream-pop luminaries like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Smashing Pumpkins. It’s becoming increasingly hard to establish a distinctive approach within popular music in general, and yet throughout their discography, DIIV’s sound and emotional tenor are unmistakably theirs.

Emerging from the fertile early-2010s Brooklyn DIY music scene, DIIV quickly proved themselves as one of the city’s most prominent live acts and have since widened their aesthetic with every successive release. Over the course of three albums, they have incorporated the driving gait of British guitar pop, the minimalist structures and Motorik rhythms of German psychedelia, metal’s lush fury, and the sonic immersion of shoegaze into their inviting world of sound.

Possessing a bracing and immersive live presence, DIIV are firmly situated within a deep legacy of boundary-pushing rock bands as they continue charting their own path. Their influence can be felt across a new generation of artists pursuing their own punishing bliss, and has left its mark on shoegaze and guitar-driven music as DIIV themselves continue to cement their legacy as one of North America’s most formidable rock acts

 
SASAMI PC Andrew Thomas Huang Press 372 V06 300dpi

SASAMI

SASAMI (Sasami Ashworth) will release her second studio album, Squeeze, on February 25, 2022 on Domino Records. Squeeze hammers home a sentiment of “anti-toxic positivity” and showcases her vicious honesty and brutally uncompromising vision, partially inspired by the Japanese yōkai folk spirit called Nure-onna (translation: wet woman), a vampiric deity that has the head of a woman and the body of a snake.

On Squeeze, SASAMI explores her wide spectrum of moods—from raging at systemic violence to wrestling for control in her personal relationships. Throughout, the singer-songwriter and producer surveys the raw aggression of nu-metal, tender plainspokeness of country-pop and folk rock, and dramatic romanticism of classical music.

Based in Los Angeles, SASAMI is a descendent of the Zainichi people on her mother’s side, a diaspora of ethnic Koreans who lived in Japan during Japan’s occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. Though some Zainichi moved voluntarily and others were forcibly kidnapped, these people and their progeny continue to experience systemic discrimination and oppression in Japan to this day. While conducting a deep dive into her family’s mixed Korean and Japanese history and culture, SASAMI stumbled upon stories of Nure-onna and was immediately drawn to the water creature’s multiplicitous nature. According to legend, the deity is feminine and noble, yet powerful and vicious enough to brutally destroy victims with her blood sucking tongue.

The fluidity of the Nure-onna can be felt in how Squeeze naturally flows through musical influences—from System of a Down to Sheryl Crow and Fleetwood Mac, to even Bach and Mahler. A classically-trained composer, SASAMI constructed the LP in the form of an opera or orchestral work that has different “movements” that take the listener on an emotional journey. Compared to the introspective indie rock of SASAMI’s 2019 self-titled debut album, Squeeze is a full-throttled expansion.

The dark, fantastical elements of the Nure-onna legend feeds into SASAMI’s use of heavy rock elements throughout Squeeze. She hopes that listeners will identify with this new sinister, intense sound and use it as a soundtrack for processing their “anger, frustration, desperation, and more violent, aggressive emotions.” Her ultimate desire is for marginalized folks, including femmes, BIPOC, and queer people, to listen to Squeeze and find catharsis from the oppression and violence that they experience.

In reclamatory fashion, SASAMI assumes the form of Nure-onna on the record’s Japanese horror film-inspired cover art, designed by Andrew Thomas Huang (Björk, FKA twigs) and Rin Kim. She chose to pair this Japanese folklore-referencing image with Squeeze written in Korean calligraphy by Myung-Ja Ashworth, SASAMI’s mom, as another act of Zainichi empowerment. On the back, the title is written in Japanese script.

Squeeze was produced by SASAMI, with a handful of the tracks co-produced by Ty Segall at his studio in Topanga, California. Other notable contributors include:

No Home (“Squeeze”)
Fashion Club aka Moaning’s Pascal Stevenson (“Say It”)
Christian Lee Hutson (“Tried to Understand”)
Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy (“The Greatest,” “Not a Love Song”)
Vagabon’s Laetitia Tamko and Patti Harrison (“Skin a Rat”)
Barishi (“Sorry Entertainer”)
Megadeth’s Dirk Verbeuren (“Squeeze,” “Skin a Rat,” “Need it to Work”)
King Tuff’s Kyle Thomas (all songs besides “Sorry Entertainer”)

Glixen

Glixen