It is my opinion that there aren’t enough flute solos in pop songs. Because flutes are great. For some reason, they’re often maligned in pop music in favour of guitars, synths and the odd horn here and there, but flutes have a certain whimsical charm that few other instruments can muster. Thankfully, the oft-forgotten flute is the centrepiece of ‘Are You Leaving’, the dreamy new track by SASSY 009.
There is something eerily emotionless about ‘Are You Leaving’, from the bored, murmured refrain to the lack of question mark in the song’s title, implying a certain nonchalance. It’s a measured and rational track that deals in constrained emotion and a stiff upper lip, until the flute makes an appearance, that is. Over the subdued, echoing rhythm, the flute makes for an unusual juxtaposition, but it’s undoubtedly one that works, adding another dimension to a track that already feels rich in texture.
The voices of Teodora, Sunniva and Johanna overlap and blend, forming one common voice, one that is light and airy in its harmonies. In the track’s video, made in the style of an old VHS tape, the three look almost like wood elves or fairies, huddled together under a blanket and peering out through bushes. There is a mischievous allure not just to the track, but also to the band, affording them a flattering air of mystery.
Little is known about SASSY 009. A trio from Oslo who began making music together while in school, their offbeat sound can so far only be heard in two tracks: ‘Are You Leaving’ and its predecessor ‘Pretty Baby‘. That will be changing soon though, as the group have plans to release their debut EP Do You Mind in the near future. We can only hope the flute makes another appearance, as its capricious stylings over the synth hum of ‘Are You Leaving’ make for an unexpectedly successful pop pairing.