The Seshen Embraces the Changing Nature of Love in Two New Tracks

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A band sits around a brightly colored picnic spread and clinks their mugs for a toast.
The Seshen (clockwise from left) is Aki Ehara, Mahesh Rao, Lalin St. Juste, Mirza Kopelman, Kumar Butler and Chris Thalmann. (Courtesy of The Seshen; illustration: Kelly Heigert)

Welcome to Pass the Aux, where KQED Arts & Culture brings you our favorite new tracks by Bay Area artists. Check out past entries and submit a song for future coverage here.

Over their decade-plus as a band, The Seshen has been through a lot together, and they’re processing love and grief on their two new singles, “Beyond Me” and “This Time Around.” Both tracks are part of a new, self-released LP that the Bay Area band is putting out song by song, once a month.

“This Time Around,” out today, is a cover of a Jessica Pratt song that lead singer Lalin St. Juste and producer and bassist Aki Ehara gravitated towards while navigating an incredibly challenging time. The duo, once a married couple, is the band’s main songwriting force; during the pandemic, they divorced after St. Juste came out as a lesbian. Fortunately, they remain close collaborators and good friends.

It might be tempting to draw parallels to other great inter-band breakup songs, like No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” but “This Time Around” comes from a place of empathy and understanding of the way relationships change, and how people drift in and out of our lives.


“I felt like even though we needed to heal and mourn in our own ways separately, we could connect musically through this song,” Ehara wrote in a statement about the track. “I knew that this was a song that resonated with each of us. Even through the challenges we were facing, we’d always shared a deep musical connection. I think in starting the [Jessica Pratt] cover, I was hoping to reconnect to that musical bond that brought us together years ago.”

“This Time Around” is a quiet contemplation that foregrounds St. Juste’s delicate voice over piano and strings. While Pratt’s original is lo-fi and acoustic, with a mix that conjures the fuzziness of a dusty record player, The Seshen’s take lends it a more full-bodied sheen that brings out its sparse beauty in a different way.

“Beyond Me,” released in February, is more propulsive and high-energy, although still introspective. St. Juste wrote the lyrics about tuning into her inner world through the meditation practice she developed during the pandemic. “What I find / when I arrive / The parts of me / I tried to hide,” she sings.

The Seshen will release three more songs from their forthcoming LP, one per month, via Bandcamp and streaming platforms.