PRE-ORDER - EXPECTED MID MARCH
Here is the debut, self-titled album from a.s.o., singer/songwriter Alia Seror-O'Neill, and producer Lewie Day. a.s.o. is a thematic consolidation of the previous three singles and an impressive artistic progression. Day and Seror-O'Neill show they've mastered the format of the radio-friendly pop song and found how to subvert it completely. Across eleven songs, they have built a rich and compelling body of work.
We know where we are now, emotionally complex, trip-hop torch songs for club freaks. But the palette has broadened to encompass ethereal dream pop à la Cocteau Twins, slow-burning AOR-soul, and dubwise stylings. As a result, 'a.s.o.' is a satisfyingly coherent listen but never a musical monoculture. Variously there are nods toward Julee Cruise, Fleetwood Mac, and the uneasy listening of Portishead. It's an album that wears its influences lightly, is never weighed down by them, and always sure of its own identity.
It's anchored by Alia's unique voice. Her words speak of restraint and release, taking us from the elegiac to the euphoric. This elegantly crafted, perfect pop music sounds like it has had enough of your shit. And Day's music is the perfect foil; deep, slightly menacing, restrained, and powerful. The album has a cinematic texture, as with David Lynch; the seemingly familiar becomes uncanny and strange the closer we look. a.s.o. take our emotions for a joyride before leaving us floating in space.
a.s.o. is a journey; by its end, we all are changed.