A smokescreen of melodicism is all that separates us from Sasha Prendes in the opening bars of her new single “Shake This,” which is out now everywhere that independent R&B is sold and streamed. The beats come out of thin air and start assaulting us with their gentle sway. “Shake This” is a game of contrasts; on the one hand, we’ve got this dynamic synth part that is swarthy and full of instability just waiting to come undone in the left channel of our speakers, and on the other, we’ve got the velvety vocal track entrancing us with its psychedelic hue.
The construction of “Shake This” is marred in cerebral themes, but it isn’t an overambitious step for Sasha Prendes – actually, quite the contrary indeed. She’s been building up to making a sprawling pop track like this one for a hot minute, and while “Shake This” isn’t studded with plasticity, it’s got just as much drive and cosmetic sparkle to attract plenty of attention away from her mainstream rivals.
The production quality here is stellar, and with its well-defined bassline, we’re able to appreciate all the intensity in the instrumental part of the song as well as on the lyrical front. The bass cushions Prendes’ vocal, which is out of control and loaded with panache from the moment that it greets us at the onset of the song. Percussive blasts are tempered under the steam heat of her crooning, which steals the lion’s share of our affections and never lets them go – even in the fever pitch of the chorus, where the drums do their best to fill in the minor gaps between the synths and the vocal.
For the most part, “Shake This” is robustly structured and given a lot of room to breathe, and despite a few traction issues it has at the beginning of the song, it’s, by and large, the most seductive performance that I’ve heard from Sasha Prendes so far. She’s no holds barred bold in this track, and even if it isn’t as much a powerhouse club anthem as it is a chill slow jam, it’s a single that I’m ranking among the sweetest of 2023 regardless.
If this is on the level for Sasha Prendes’ course moving forward, then you’d better believe that this won’t be the last time that we’re reading her name in the indie music headlines (and possibly the mainstream ones as well). Prendes holds nothing back from us here, digs as deep as she can on a lyrical level, and gives us a brooding instrumental to complement her emotive poetry. You can tell that she’s been making music for the better part of her life; there’s a connection that she’s got with this medium that is as much the star of this song as her singing is, and though I’m blessed with the opportunity to review a lot of different artists in this genre from week to week, I don’t recall the last time that I heard a young vocalist in R&B that was as anti-egomaniacal in her music as Sasha Prendes is.