9/12/11

Review: The Way Sound Leaves A Room - Sarah Jaffe

For the current generation, a strong female presence, stripped of auto-tune and fuzzy distortions, is hard to come by. But Texan-native Sarah Jaffe may just be the perfect contender to take that title –and own it to its fullest capacity. Reminiscent of an early Sarah McLachlan with an endearing brood and raw vocal power, Jaffe brings more than honesty and a hypnotic, ethereal melancholy to the 8 tracks that make up The Way Sound Leaves A Room.

To make a more current comparison, Jaffe’s sound is right up there with the likes of Beach House, Laura Marling, and even Mumford & Sons. The opening track, “All That Time” is ethereal at its simplest, with echoing vocal layers. Much like other tracks, “The Way Sound Leaves a Room” and “Clementine” –instrumentation takes a backseat to Jaffe’s truly beautiful vocals and round melodies and harmonies. The roughness of her tone sounds perfect in juxtaposition to her feminine lyrical content, “I wish I was more delicate.”

While the first half of the EP leans more to a relaxed, singer-songwriter vibe –the second half shows Jaffe testing out new boundaries with a subtle hip-hop influence. From her cover of Drake’s “Shut It Down” to her own song, “When You Rest.” Other stand-out tracks that turn up the tempo with sexy bass lines and an almost danceable groove are “A Sucker For Your Marketing” –which is too short and leaves the listener wanting more, and “Louder Than Ever”, which is much more than relatable. The latte track is poetic and yearning, almost as if Jaffe left the purest part of her soul on the floor.

In all honesty, the only negative I have about this EP is that some tracks feel like incomplete thoughts. Whether Jaffe ran out of words or chords to create something new, a few tracks can become those songs that transport the listener back to a special time and place where they first heard it. **9.6/10

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