Singer-songwriter Sasha Ortiz released her debut EP Superblue, after catching our attention with her single “Do You Want My Love” a while back. The 4 track body of work is a collaborative project that sees her exploring polyamorous relationships with a focus on intent, mutual respect and trust with an underlying tale of her own journey and experiences. The project sees her collaborating with producer/writer/mix engineer Reef Boii and mastering engineer Dave Cooley who all help bring her works to life.
The opening track “On Your Side” is a sultry piece that sets the tone for the project. The sensual theme is accentuated by Sasha’s mesmerizing vocal runs and sultry lyrics that express her uninhibited desires. Her lyrics are unapologetic and candid as she sings “…I want you to hold me tight/I’ve been burning, hungry for this kinda vibe” before reassuring her partner to put her on their side. The production here is dynamic and has a mix of downtempo R&B with experimental pop aesthetics ranging from rich pads and a pervasive pulsating bass-synth that serves as the foundation. This is followed by the single “Do You Want My Love”, a record made up of rich guitar riffs, pulsating bass-driven rhythms and an overwhelming warm funk-soul vibe. Here Sasha takes charge with her commanding and distinct melodic runs and delivers a solid performance ripe with a resounding question that borders around true love. Are we really in love or is this another entanglement of some sort? She shares her thoughts in an unapologetic manner and pours her heart on wax reminding her potential lover to be frank with her with lines like “Tell me do you want my love/ tell me it is good enough/ Tell me we could fall in love?“.
On “Superblue”, we get a futuristic R&B/soul piece comprised of a pronounced bass-line driven groove, rousing guitar plucks that slowly rise to a crescendo alongside Sasha’s mellow melodic runs and solemn lyrics that dwell on heartbreak and the ultimate come-up as she finds her inner strength after a period of being under a dark cloud. Armed with her commanding vocal tone and expressive melodic delivery, Sasha reflects on how she got her groove back with lines like “Think you’d be surprised to hear my name around/Yes, I’m still alive/Left me there to die but I learned to float while swimming through my mind”. Overall the track sees her finding victory after an arduous journey through grit. The project closes out on a high note “In Time”, a highly infectious tune that has a rich guitar riff, undeniable groove and sublime pads. I love how it slowly builds up and sets the mood for the listener for almost a minute before Sasha’s arresting vocals come into play. Here, she explains how her relationship withered away and pontificates on the good memories and the lies that made her feel stuck in time. The lingering wants and feelings are still there somewhere and she admits that it’s not quite easy to be rid of them and it’s only a matter of time before these emotions will fade away. The track is particularly special as it puts a lid on the cyclic love concept as we see Sasha high on love at the start and slowly sink into a depreciating love scenario that involves self-reflection and forceful growth. Ultimately the die is cast and Sasha confronts her partner, makes peace with them and within herself and moves on.
Overall, Superblue has a cohesive and seamless aesthetic with soundscapes that thread the themes of sensuality, trust, love, heartbreak and emotional strength. From the engaging and relatable songwriting to her soul-gripping vocal performance and the dynamic backdrops, listeners will surely enjoy this short but dense project.