Video Premiere: Sarah Jaffe, “Glorified High”
So we have more than a little bit of a crush on Sarah Jaffe. The Texas-based singer-songwriter inhabits the kind of lushly delicate but still throbbing and glitchy folktronica that first grabbed our attention about Ellie Goulding, plus just about the coolest Robyn-esque hairstyle we’ve ever seen. Swag? Yep, pretty much.
Sarah’s video for “Glorified High,” the gorgeous new single from her just-released albumThe Body Wins, sees the chanteuse sharing the spotlight to an impossibly cool 11-year-old dancer who has, um, moves like Jagger, and then some. “I kept coming back to the idea of a kid dancing,” Sarah told us. “So I went through this slew of videos of little kids doing the Dougie and the Jerk, and somehow came across Emily — it was this amazing video of her and her choreographer Mikey Trasoras who choreographed all of Emily’s moves for the video. We really lucked out. Her delivery for each move is so on point.”
“On point” doesn’t even begin to do it justice. We only have one question: Emily, can you teach us to dance? I’m being f’reals.
Click here to watch “Glorified High”
Sarah Jaffe’s Body Talk
Texas singer/songwriter Sarah Jaffe has done a lot of growing up since her debut album, Suburban Nature, the first single from which, “Vulnerable,” she wrote while she was still in high school. Even then, Jaffe carried herself with the spirit of an old soul—but her new album, The Body Wins, shows a new shade of musical maturity for Jaffe, who created the record after returning home for the first time in two years. She has experimented more musically with the help of producer John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, The Walkmen, St. Vincent) and with Midlake’s McKenzie Smith, moving beyond straight-ahead guitar folk and into new jazz and electronic-inflected directions. The raspy and hauntingly beautiful vocals her fans value haven’t gone anywhere—but everything surrounding them is bolder and richer than before.
We chatted with Sarah Jaffe about her admiration for Congleton, getting over a creative rut, and always finding new meanings within her songs….
Click hereto read the full interview!
Getting to Know Sarah Jaffe
I first heard about Sarah Jaffe when I was interviewing Midlake back in 2010. When asking the band to recommend any other interesting acts from their hometown of Denton, Texas that were worth checking out, Sarah Jaffe was one of the first names that came up. I would have forgotten about it completely if a promo of her sophomore release—2010’s Suburban Nature—hadn’t passed across my desk shortly thereafter. As a person with an admitted bias against earnest singer/songwriter types (and a person who gets about half a dozen blandly forgettable records from singer/songwriters sent to me on a weekly basis), I was surprised by how much I immediately enjoyed Suburban Nature and the generally unusual point of view from which Sarah Jaffe approached her songs. Later this month Sarah will release The Body Wins, an excellent record that all but ditches the folky vibe of her earlier work in favor of synthesizers and programmed beats. Produced with John Congleton (who has worked with everyone from The Walkmen to David Byrne) and Stuart Sikes (known for producing both Cat Power and Loretta Lynn), the album is a weird amalgam of beaty dance-friendly tracks and more subdued, string-filled tracks that wouldn’t be out of place on a Feist record….
Click hereto read the full interview!
Sarah Jaffe:The Body Wins
Sarah Jaffe’s 2010 debut full-length Suburban Nature began with simple measured strums on her acoustic guitar. The album wasn’t completely spare—eventually slow pulls on the violin colored that opening song and Jaffe’s quivering vocals echoed to fill the empty spaces. But overall, it occupied that familiar ground between folk, roots rock and indie pop.
Her follow-up The Body Wins, however, starts off more like Rufus Wainwright’s operatic electro-pop masterpiece Want One. On “Paul,” subtle electric guitar, woodwinds, organ and piano begin ever so quietly as Jaffe sings “On the seventh day, we set aside our brains/From an amateur hell/Regardless of age/And they will never know the things.” The song is followed immediately by brash horns on the title track, then keyboards—both industrial and playful on “Glorified High.” It’s a stylistic leap that works, preserving much of what made Suburban Nature so enjoyable. In hindsight, that album was a lovely baseline full of wonderful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics upon which to decorate lavishly with whatever she and producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Wye Oak) might imagine.
Read the full review from Paste Magazine here!