For Those Who Like: Zola Jesus, St. Vincent, Imogen Heap
In 2008, Texas native Sarah Jaffe released Even Born Again, an EP of heartbreaking, acoustic indie-folk that caught the attention of several publications, including Rolling Stone. She followed that up with her first full-length album, the well-received Suburban Nature in 2010. The album included “Clementine” and “Summer Begs'”, two singles that helped raise Jaffe’s profile as a rising singer-songwriter. The songs were hits with fans, as evidenced by the numerous covers on Soundcloud and other social media sites.
In 2012, Jaffe opted for the indie-rock route on The Body Wins. The 13-track LP combined Jaffe’s personal songwriting style with an array of instrumentation from downtempo beats to gentle hums of synthesizers to keys to distorted guitars. The album wasn’t a rocking number, but more akin to the mid-tempo indie music of PJ Harvey, Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten, and TORRES.
In 2013, she experimented with hip hop, electronic, and dubstep on her second EP, The Way Sounds Leaves a Room. In some ways, it was a gateway to her Don’t Disconnect, Jaffe’s third and last full-length album and her fifth record overall. But like her previous albums, Jaffe once again reinvents herself. While there are still elements of the indie rock from The Body Wins, the album incorporates more synth and indie pop. Similar to her past efforts, she doesn’t attempt to create music that may override the senses or create mass hysteria among the audience. Instead, she maintains a mid-tempo approach that is soothing and captivating. Take “Either Way” and “Revelation”, which are ethereal, mystical, sonic experiences with hints of Zola Jesus and Lorde, or the groovy, synth-infused “Lover Girl”.
“Some People Will Tell You“ most closely resembles straight up indie-pop with its building melodies and an beautiful chorus. However, Jaffe shows great restraint on the track by not taking it over the edge and into over-produced, unnecessary redundancy. Instead, she reels it back before slowly accelerating to the climax.
Don’t Disconnect is also the most varied of Jaffe’s albums. “Slow Pour” resonates with the R&B-laced, symphonic coolness on St. Vincent’s “Prince Johnny”, which is followed by the equally cool, synth-funk of “Your Return”.
Unfortunately for Jaffe, her album came out at the same time as several, highly anticipated album. However, this is an album not to be missed. It is one that will grow on you with each listen – a dreamy, enthralling record that captivates with each note.
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