After logging several years in Norah Jones’ backup band — and performing alongside Jones in the pair’s country-gal side project, Puss N Boots — Sasha Dobson is going solo. On her new record, Aquarius, she leaves her jazz and country roots behind, working with collaborator Joel Hamilton (producer of BlakRoc’s self-titled debut; engineer of Sparklehorse’s It’s a Wonderful Life) to carve out a smoky, guitar-based sound that’s more appropriate for the rock club than the cabaret lounge.
She speak-sings her way through “Full Moon,” trading her croon for something spookier. It’s a different sort of sound, one that’s influenced by everything from electro-pop to neo-soul to film noir.
“‘Full Moon’ is about the power of nature and the signs we choose to listen to… or not,” Dobson tells us. “On the full moon two years ago, my Dad’s pal, a Santa Cruz jazz drummer, was murdered by his mentally ill wife, and on that same night, around the same hour, I was in the beginning stages of what turned out to be a highly tumultuous love affair.”
Those origins are reflected in the music video, a three-and-a-half minute clip that unfolds like a mystery movie. Dobson sits on her bed, smiling to herself and occasionally caressing the tattooed back of a lover who lays beside her. Is he asleep? Is he dead? We never get any answers, and we can only imagine what happens as soon as the camera shuts off.
“When Torkil Stavdal took on directing this video,” Dobson continues, “he flipped over the imagery of the lyrics and its cinematic possibilities. The video was meant to confuse the watcher. ‘Who’s the man, is he dead or alive? Who’s the woman? Did she do something wrong or right?'”
Aquarius is out on June 18.