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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Underrated Artists: Sasha Sloan, The Hip Abduction, Mia Giovina and Sabrina Sterling

Depreciated musicians, a lack of discernment
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Welcome to “Underrated Artists,” an entertainment column from the St. Louis Park Echo covering unpopular and unknown artists. Every week, a different Echo staffer takes on the role of writer, reviewing single releases and albums from 4 underrated artists.

Sasha Alex Sloan is an established, yet depreciated musician. Alexandra Artourovna Yatchenko, known as Sasha Alex Sloan professionally, is an American singer-songwriter. Based in Los Angeles, her career has been a progression of musicality and of collaboration. She began her career with being the lead vocalist on the recordings of various well-known artists, including Kygo’s “This Town.” In 2017, she began releasing her own music, and in 2018, she introduced her EPs, “Sad Girl” and “Loser.” A lot of her music has been made known through social media, as the melancholy tone and artistic language of “Older” and “Dancing With Your Ghost” have been acclaimed by many. In 2020, she released “Only Child,” and in 2021, she did a collaboration with Sam Hunt for the single, “when was it over?” Despite particular songs within Sloan’s discography being more well-known, most of her music — her captivating lyricism and charming vocals — has been neglected. Extending from alternative indie rock to contemporary country, her music has the diverse elements which constitute a broadened audience and a unique tone that sets her apart.

The Hip Abduction is a band consisting of David New, Matt Poynter, Christ Powers, Justino Lee Walker, Dave Johnson and Cody Moore, priding themselves on not having their musicality defined by a particular genre. Their music can be considered reggae, jam and island indie. That is the reason I find their songs to be captivating; their playful melodies and instrumentals depict life, projecting happiness and authenticity. The Hip Abduction began as a duo, performing in St. Petersburg. The pair shared a passion for reggae and imitating West African musicality. Interestingly, I believe their stylistic choices are similar to those of Bob Marley and Michael Franti & Spearhead. Their music begs nostalgia from those who listen to it. The Hip Abduction began to establish itself by covering songs at bars, and four more musicians joined it, seeing it as a musician collective reflecting enjoyment of the same sound. I would have never heard of this band if it were not for my younger sister telling me to listen to “All I Need” as we drove through Panama City at sunset. The instrumentals and lyricism take me back to that sunset and warm air when I listen to the song, and I am constantly impressed by where their musicality takes me.

Mia Giovina is a lesser-known artist. Being a content creator, she has gained traction on social media from the covers she has done and the music she has created. Though she has not released a lot of music, what is accessible is brilliant and provides a novel perspective to the established indie genre. In 2021, she released two singles, “Sirens” and “Time Machine.” In listening to these songs, Giovina’s narration articulates the emotional relevance that is lacking in modern music. This had instantly drawn me to her. In 2022, she had released “Go Getter,” and in 2023, she had released her EP, “Without a Note,” encompassing five songs. I heard music from this EP by accident and fell in love. Her understanding of the instrumental contrast and cohesiveness in music allows her to artistically blend acoustics with electronic elements, and her echoing vocals and manipulation of her vocal range provides emotional depth. Though she is an upcoming artist and has not received the acknowledgment she deserves, her music is very refreshing in its honest lyricism and simplistic melodies. It is for these reasons that I will be waiting for the recognition that I know she is bound to have and seeking her release of more music.

Based in San Diego, Sabrina Sterling is a contemporary vocalist I have been silently watching. Her music combines indie elements with a contemporary tone and is unique to her, making it interesting to listen to. Her music has captured the attention of many through social media, as she is constantly posting snippets of authentic music that people beg her to formally release. Being young, her lyricism is impressionable and is appealing in its sincerity. She has a distinctive voice and artistic maturity that I did not expect. Sterling has released only five songs, but they are all incredible. “World’s Biggest Hypocrite” intertwines a memorable tune and convicting lyricism, while “17 Pushing 24” has more melancholy melody and genius wording. I hope to hear more from her, as her youthful narration and unique tone reflect the potential of a promising career and of artistic progression.

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About the Contributor
Anna Williams, News Editor
Hey! My name is Anna, and I am a junior. When I am not writing for Echo, you will find me on the field or in the gym, as I play soccer for the high school and coach pre-school gymnastics classes. I love walking around Lake Harriet, traveling, and attending Youth Group with my younger sister. This is my second year writing for Echo, and I am so excited!

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