Friday, April 23, 2010

Sarah Jaffe - Better Than Nothing

Singer/songwriter Sarah Jaffe is a great buzz-worthy talent to come out of Denton, Texas. Her first full length (14 song) album, Suburban Nature, came out in the beginning of this month and has more than a handful of solid tracks. "Clementine" is the big hit off the album and sounds like the catchiest Lucinda Williams song you can think of, but younger. Even though it is almost a five minute song it always leaves me craving an extra verse or two. More of these catchy hooks would be great: "50 states, 50 lines, 50 crying all the times, 50 boys, 50 lies, 50 I'm gonna change my mind's, I changed my mind, now I'm feeling different." Sarah Jaffe's other strong point is in the simplicity of her songs. She has some strings, drums, a guitar, and her voice and it all comes together elegantly without sounding over-produced, and without being boring. The culmination and variety of Jaffe's strengths shine in "Better than Nothing", making it the highlight of the album for me. The song starts with a barely-there guitar and her soft sultry voice until it crescendos into a strong chorus paired with violins while her voice takes on an entirely different character to the point where it sounds like two different people are singing the song. And then Jaffe seamlessly segues back to her minimalist approach without batting an eye. Check out more of her music on her myspace page. And even better, you can download these three songs (ever born again, clementine, two intangables can't be had) from her website. Enjoy the two songs below for your listening pleasure.

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