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The Scarlet & Black

Fall Fest Concerts Preview: Soccer Mommy, SASAMI, The Boy Illinois

Graphic by Steven Duong.


Graphic by Steven Duong.

Rising from the ashes of 10/10, this year’s Fall Fest will feature a night of music for Grinnellians. On Saturday, Oct. 6, students and community members will have a chance to see three buzzed-about musicians play right here on campus. First, at 4:30 p.m., former Cherry Glazerr keyboardist and incredibly cool lady Sasami Ashworth, whose stage name is SASAMI, will play a set of her solo music at the Commencement Stage, followed by Nashville-based musician Soccer Mommy at 5 p.m. If it rains, both acts will perform in the Harris Center instead. Finally, rapper and East Chicago native The boy illinois will perform in Gardner Lounge at 10 p.m.

For the past ten years, SASAMI has been pretty much everywhere in the Los Angeles music scene. According to her Soundcloud page, “From playing french horn in orchestras and studios, to playing keys and guitar in local rock bands (Dirt Dress, Cherry Glazerr), to contributing vocals/string/horn arrangements to studio albums (Avi Buffalo, Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing, Hand Habits, etc.) and producing tracks for other respected artists (Soko), she has gained a reputation as an all-around musical badass.”

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, SASAMI has also spent time teaching music and writing orchestral scores for films. Having essentially done everything else she could have possibly done in music, she is now taking time to develop her solo work, planning to release an album in 2019, which Pitchfork says she describes as an exploration of “everyone I fucked and who fucked me last year.”

On her recent single “Callous” SASAMI sings “When I look back, I can see myself so clear” over churning guitars. It ends in a synth solo that will have Grinnell students vigorously nodding their heads to the beat.

20-year-old musician Sophie Allison, who performs as Soccer Mommy, seems to have more in common with the average Grinnell student than just her age. Many of her lyrics, sung over her richly orchestrated guitar, sound like they could have been ripped from D-Hall conversations.

Case in point: “I’m just a victim of changing planets, my Scorpio rising and my parents” (from “Scorpio Rising”), or “I wanna know her like you, I wanna be that cool” (from “Cool”).

Allison dropped out of New York University after two years when her Bandcamp releases attracted the attention of notable indie record label Fat Possum. Since then, she has moved back to her hometown of Nashville and released two albums, Collection and Clean, which have positioned her as an exciting new voice in independent music.

She has also toured with a particularly diverse set of musicians: contemporary favorites like Mitski, Jay Som and Frankie Cosmos, shoegaze legends Slowdive, recently heralded indie act Phoebe Bridgers and even Paramore. In an interview with Billboard, she says her songwriting is probably influenced most by Taylor Swift and Mitski, both of whom show through in her highly-personal lyricism.

According to his Spotify bio, Lupe Fiasco once described The boy illinois as “one of the leaders of the next generation of hip-hop.” Forbes even said that he’s the “next hot Chicago act,” poised to join the ranks of Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper. His most recent release, Windy,

features a collaboration with rapper Saba and lush electronic instrumentation backing The boy illinois’s verses.

This Saturday night will be the first, but hopefully not the last, concert-filled Fall Fest, featuring three artists who should not be missed.

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