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Suburban Nature

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Album Review

Sarah Jaffe’s debut sounds a bit like pre-More Adventurous Rilo Kiley: folksy, sparse, and more indebted to the D.I.Y. songwriter scene than the commercial coffee house fare that orchestrates montage sequences in Grey’s Anatomy. Recorded in 2008 and released two years later, it chronicles the first chapter of Jaffe’s career, collecting songs written during her teenage years as well as a sampling of recent material. Suburban Nature isn’t entirely a solo album, though; Jaffe writes the music herself, but the songs come to life thanks to her backing band, a tasteful four-piece that includes two string players and the multi-instrumentalist Robert Gomez. It’s thanks to those musicians that Jaffe is able to blaze her own trail in the crowded female folkster market, and one of Suburban Nature’s biggest strengths is the way her band frames her vocals with arrangements that are alternately minimalist and lush.


Born: 29 January 1986 in Red Oak, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A singer/songwriter with electro-pop ambitions, soulful Texas crooner Sarah Jaffe weaves stark folk-pop narratives whose gentle melodies belie the deeper, dancefloor-ready confectioner within. On the title track of her debut EP, Jaffe sang "I'm testament to old and new," which served as a nice introduction to the singer/songwriter's timeworn folk side. Her tart, at times bluesy voice had the sepia tint of dustbowl troubadours of yore and the sad crack and throb of a '70s confessional folkie. Delicate...
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Suburban Nature, Sarah Jaffe
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