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Sasha Adrian (Denmark) – IMDb (single)

Sasha Adrian admits she has a problem. She reads the movie summary before she watches it. That’s where the title comes from because as I reckon you probably know IMDb is the Wiki of the movies, with all the basic facts you need to know about films, TV, the actors and actresses that show up in them, and the plot, short of the juicy bits you were searching out.

Anyway, it turns out that it is a new pattern of behaviour that she has adopted to manage symptoms of PTSD from a sexual assault she endured seven years ago. Interesting; I hadn’t heard of OCD linked to PTSD before and she’s brave to bring it to public attention. There is ‘confessional’ and then there is this.

As I read it she does this as a form of self protection, so she can skip over the dark bits or just junk the movie altogether and move on to the next one, or not at all. The celluloid storylines are too close to reality for her. And she acknowledges that violence against women is distressingly common whether it is in the movies, the meeja or in the home, street or bar.

The difficulty is that she has transferred these latent fears into real life, reading danger into a new relationship for example where it likely doesn’t exist. “Am I the only one who sees cold blooded killers in every dark street?” she asks.

It’s just paranoia, but she can’t be sure of that, a dilemma she paraphrases wonderfully in the chorus with, “Is it in my head or am I walking into my untimely death, walking home with you?”

 And then later, as if to add insult to injury, if you’ll pardon the pun,

“So tell me please/I swear I’d rather know/If you’re the life or the death of me…”

The potential to be ‘hurt’ by the fresh partner seems as portentous as the genuine pain she has experienced in wholly different circumstances.

The raison d’être for the existence of the song is, she says, “I’m done carrying my burden alone. Safety is our joint responsibility as a society, and that’s why I wanted to share my experience of what I feel like living with fear.”

And again, I salute her for that, as well as for having the skill to present the evidence, so to speak, in an up-tempo, almost jaunty indie-pop manner (and with even a slight flavour of Americana), while at the same time painting it with the same foreboding as a Scandi noir film or TV series.

Where the song doesn’t quite work for me is in the two bridges that are strung together, the first a plodding , drawn out vocal one, the second a short screeching guitar solo right out of the Anna Calvi songbook, that doesn’t fit. I’d rather she’d just inserted a Hollywood-style murder-in-the-shower scream, courtesy of a symphonic metal front woman. I reckon it would have been more effective.

But I won’t let that detract from my appreciation of how she uses humour to pour water down the vest of her fears.

Oh, and she’s got a charmingly sweet voice with a hint of Regina Spektor in the tone. That’s a better defensive mechanism than any amount of martial arts training.

‘IMDb’ is out now on Celebration Records.

Following two singles and a music video, Sasha released her debut EP ‘Token’ in October 2023. It contains a track called ‘Exorcism’. I really must check that out.

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