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Jeremy Davis
December 12/03/20, 2020
Maintaining mixed origins or adapting to a new culture is widely a daunting task to execute, an uphill battle to overcome. For a South Asian American, the level of difficulties can be even greater. Barely any character in the American TV shows, movies, or books portrays the desi appearance or culture. This predicament, invoking fear of becoming estranged, would ultimately influence the South Asian American minors to believe what they see on TV or read in books is the only “accepted” way to present themselves.
On The Last American, Brooklyn-based Ali Aslam reflects a similar collage of tales of his early years when he discovered himself in the middle of his family’s Pakistani upbringing and his peers’ American lifestyles. The indie folk-rocker’s self-released debut came on October 30.

Listen in here!
https://open.spotify.com/album/1WHPw2Dqq4wfioyifKGc4V

Throughout the 12 tracks, Aslam has assured his profound insights into indie folk, rock, and even American pop music. “Supersonic folk,” the tag he uses, aptly plants the sonic image of his bucolic mixture of soothing melodies, soft guitars, and calm vocals. The Last American is somewhat a guitar-driven album, mostly acoustic, but often harmoniously jangly. The record does not see the New Yorker geeking out about instruments and experimenting with unusual tones, but the indie singer-songwriter knows how to captivate the listeners with his guitars by sounding celestially gentle and grippingly substantial. His simplistic rhythms on low strings and atmospheric melodies on high supply the album with refined fuel.

The intertwining of thematical and diverse musical dynamisms adorn the album with a compelling aura that is genuinely novelistic in its own essence. In fact, the instilled emotional vibrancies of the album transmit the feeling that the child of an immigrant upholds after not belonging to the culture of the American peers. Aslam, however, has never lacked scope and ambition. He optimistically believes that we are ultimately responsible for the world we create. Thus, he challenges the children of the immigrants to dream bigger by representing themselves the way they are.
The Last American is the result of Aslam’s creative virtue, personal struggles, and harvested dreams. His pared-down approach gradually evolved into something impressive enough, and this will surely appease the indie folk enthusiasts.

 

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