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The best kept secret in music


"KXT: Q&A with Sarah Jaffe, In Studio This Afternoon"

Sarah Jaffe has made quite a mark on the local and regional music scene. She’s cleaned up at the past couple of year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards, got a nod from Rolling Stone after her performance at ACL, and is getting ready to tour Europe with Denton-based Midlake.

We thought we’d catch-up with Sarah and chat prior to her in-studio performance today on KXT 91.7:

Art&Seek:The first time I saw you perform was at Tom Prejean’s open mic night at Club Dada. That was about 5-6 years ago, right? What were your hopes and dreams for your career back then, and how much of those have you already accomplished?

Sarah Jaffe: I remember that night very well. In fact, that was my first real gig. My parents came because I was only 17 years old. I remember booking the gig myself and feeling very accomplished. I don’t know if I knew my hopes and dreams then and I’m not really sure if I know them now. I don’t think you know you’re living a dream until it’s in retrospect. But I know I love, with every part of my being, making and playing music and If I can continue doing that and pay the rent, then I’m completely satisfied.

Art&Seek: I met your parents that first night I saw you perform. Have they been supportive of your music career?

Sarah Jaffe: The thought of my parents can make me weep. There are not better people on this planet than those two people. They are full of love and life and they have never stopped supporting my sister and I both. They still come to every show they can.

Art&Seek: Some of Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton’s very best musicians have performed with you on stage. Are there any local musicians that make you feel nervous or intimidated?

Sarah Jaffe: Hmmm….actually no. If they’re on stage with me it’s because I’m comfy with them. But I have opened for some bigger acts that have made my palms sweaty.

Art&Seek: You are going to Europe on tour with Midlake in January, which is very exciting. How did this tour come about and what are your expectations for the tour?

Sarah Jaffe:When I moved to Denton two years ago, I just gradually became good friends with these guys and by the glory of the heavens they invited me to tour with them this coming year. I don’t think I’ve looked forward to something this much ever in my life. I admire them wholly, and expect nothing but the best for this tour.

Art&Seek: Where do you see yourself 5-6 years down the road?

Sarah Jaffe: Hopefully touring. That’s really all I want to do, tour, write and perform.

Art&Seek: Tell me your thoughts and expectations for the newly launched KXT 91.7.

Sarah Jaffe: I think D/FW radio has needed something solid for a very long time. There’s always NPR 90.1 but we have been needing a station that can bring some really good music to the table, local music especially. There are a lot of insanely great bands here playing minutes away from the station and I think it’s really great that this station is gonna take a stride in acknowledging them, playing them and supporting them. I hope you guys stick with it. - Art&Seek, KERA

"Sarah Jaffe"

Saturday's show inside at Stubb's served as a triple CD release, wrangling a lineup of North Texans. Dallas' Dove Hunter opened, delving into debut The Southern Unknown, though the band's fervent fans offset the intimacy of the following sets. The quintet's songs torque the tension between Jayson Wortham's strained, whispered wail and extended jams led by drummer Quincy Holloway's ferocious back line and Chad DeAtley's bruising basslines. Micah P. Hinson, who recently returned to Abilene from Austin, was forced to fight the remnants of Dove Hunter's crowd with his stark solo set. Stripped of their elaborate arrangements and understated crescendos, Hinson's tunes lingered in an emotional balance as his burned voice crackled over cuts from new LP Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra, the gentle touch of "We Won't Have to Be Lonesome" countering the disillusion of "Beneath the Rose." Benefiting from the reverential reception denied Hinson, 22-year-old Dentonite Sarah Jaffe delivered on her excellent John Congleton-produced debut EP, Even Born Again. Behind her stunningly deep and dexterous voice, the title track swelled mournfully with Kris Youmans' electric cello, while the soft lilt of "Black Hoax Lie" and subdued "Backwards/Forwards" most impressively wrought the passionate pull of her vocals, proving Jaffe a major new talent. - Doug Freeman, The Austin Chronicle

"Bonus MP3: Sarah Jaffe--"Even Born Again""

Sarah Jaffe stays focused, glasses or no glasses. (Allison V. Smith)
A little treat to end the day: Robert Jenkins of Summer Break Records just stopped by the office to drop off the latest--and this time, we're told, final--version of folk wunderkind Sarah Jaffe's EP, Even Born Again, which is set for official release in a few weeks.

In case you didn't see it already: Robert reiterated it in our DOMA cover package what most of us have known for some time--mainly, that Jaffe's a talent bound for bigger things than just the DFWd scene.

And for the have-to-see-it-to-believe-it types out there, here's some proof:

Bonus mp3: Sarah Jaffe -- "Even Born Again"

It's the opening and, obviously, title track on the EP. Enjoy. --Pete Freedman - Pete Freedman, Dallas Observer


2009 - Even Born Again (EP)
2010 - Suburban Nature (Kirtland Records)



Although she’s still in her early 20s, Sarah Jaffe is well on her way to becoming the next big thing out Texas. Her 2008 EP, last summer’s intensely intimate Even Born Again, was the toast of Denton’s thriving independent music scene, and she cleaned up at the 2008 Dallas Observer Music Awards, winning Best Folk/Acoustic Act, Best Female Vocalist and Best Solo Act. John Congleton (the Polyphonic Spree, Explosions in the Sky) produced Jaffe’s EP and is currently working with the singer-songwriter on her full-length debut.