Songwriting as a craft is as hard a thing to analyse as it is to catagorise to a handful of types.The more I listen to artists, the more I’m beginning to search for their entire catalogue (if they posess one).You can discover a songwirter at any particular point in their career, it’s all up to chance.I’m beginning to find this fascinating. Have you stumbeleld upon their work because it is now head and shoulders above what they’ve done before?Often this is not the case.I was intorduced to Sarah Jaffe by a friend and found her to be a perplexing listen.Often lyrically jovial (something I find hard to warm to), she had a tendancy to write a little too earnestly and her songs suffered.On the otherhand, there are plenty of examples of her getting her pop sensiblilites perfectly onto tape in a raw and mature way.What intrigued me most about her was her tendancy to tread on darker themes and melodies in the song ‘Pretender’ taken off ‘Suburban Nature’ would be a prime example of this.
On her latest record, ‘The Body Wins’, there’s plenty of the latter on display.As well as a penchant for intricite electronica brought home by producer John Congleton. (St. Vincent/Shearwater/The Walkmen)
The standout track on the album for me is ‘Hooray For Love’.Dark, intense and broody are moods Jaffe does very well, and none moreso than here.Her voice is consisently superb, her range and delivery are equal parts heartbreak and staunch defiance.The piano melody is something which hasn’t left me since I first heard it.Re-entering my brain at random times and forcing me to revisit the album again and again.
Sarah Jaffe’s musical journey has been a necesary one, as it has seen her mature into a teriffic songwriter.I’m just glad I got to hear how it all unfolded.