Review: Asher White – Transfigure Eighteen (self-released, Feb 2)

Transfigure Eighteen is an album of beautiful angst. Asher White‘s lyrics are troubling and cryptic and everything in between, their raw vulnerability matched by her frail, androgynous vocals, which often take center stage. The instrumental arrangements are wispy and fragile, every element within the pleasingly messy stitching possessing its own unique texture. It’s an album that’s difficult to read. It all seems so melancholy, with the brushed drums and weakly plucked guitars and ghostly voices; but it’s also gorgeous, even hopeful. From the organic climax of “Seasons Change” to the soft head-bobbing groove of “Reasons I Freaked Out in My Room” to the wrenching catharsis of “Nudes,” Transfigure Eighteen resides in a middle ground between many emotions, and it is wondrous to behold. Maybe the record is White’s declaration of optimism amidst hardship, or something else entirely, but for now I’m happy to be uncertain. One thing’s for sure, though: this is an astonishingly realized work from a young artist, and all but assures that the rest of her career will shine brightly.

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