Sasha Klare-Ayvazian’s debut album Family is all that you would expect from the son of a folk-singer. Originally from Northampton, Mass., his upbringing surrounded around music and and artistic endeavors. Now based in Austin, Texas, he goes by Sasha K.A., the 13 tracks on Family are a tight-knit group full of rich tones, clear vocals and nuances.
The first track, “For Courtney” is awe-inspiring. Before I peaked at the second track’s title (“Rolling Sky”), I felt the word ‘rolling’ come to mind. “Courtney” is the beautiful soundtrack that comes to mind when the clouds are rolling, the stirring violin strings that you might hear of the Earth breathing and the gasp you make when you stare at the majestic mountains. “Courtney” is just a breathtakingly, astonishing instrumental. This song is just undeniably perfect.
“Rolling Sky”, the second track is quite different! This song really shows the range in artistic endeavors, as does “If I Were”. Compared to the opening track, these two songs are folksy, sing-a-along and showcase the say-it-like-it-is songwriting. In “If I Were” the plunking acoustic-guitar riffs are met with such lyrics as “If I were a drunk, you would drive me home, put me to bed, take off my shoes, take off my clothes”. K.A.’s voice is mature, and has this tint of cheekiness in the song. Still, his sincerity and vocals are easily embraced in each track.
In “Before It Begins” the day feels anew. So many possibilities await the listener and there’s just this peaceful, stirring hum of a music bed. It’s very organic, yet there’s this thrilling electric murmur and pulse that strips its way through the song. The bright keyboards and synths cascade away like a kaleidoscope of color, nature imagery with a faint haunting. Tracks like “Before It Begins” are further proof that while K.A.’s voice is modest and warm, he’s at his best with instrumental tracks.
That’s not to say he doesn’t have the chops – in “Come & Go” he turns up the amp just right. This song felt much more pop and even, dare I say it more Borns’ like. “When you think about tomorrow, do you think about ….love! Love…don’t you come and go” he sings unrestrained.
Other standout songs include the 10th track, “My Dear”, and its twangy guitar presentation. The pacing of the song is sensual, like a slow-dance. And, the final track, “Ridin’ High” is infectiously cool. It’s a toe-tapper and plays out like a horse running across the fields. As a listener, you do indeed feel like you’re riding above K.A.’s slick vocals, crunchy guitar riffs and that pesky percussion.
The sounds you need, the songs you want, can all be found on Family. Head and shoulders above any competition in terms of musicality and keeping-it-interesting with each track, K.A. has all the mixings of what makes a great family – nothing is like the other and all have unique personalities. What a treasure trove of fun music and excellent songwriting. Family is well-worth the listen and download!