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.


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“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.