Tag Archives: live_music

Sarah Jaffe

20 Nov

The best songwriters are really actors.

A subtle shoulder dip, a single raised eyebrow, a slight tilt of the head… these movements on stage sell lyrics and music in a way that an amazing voice on it’s own can not. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. And in the case of music, it’s not just how you say it, it’s how well you broadcast the heart of a song, the invisible message an audience reacts to before they understand what they’re hearing.

Sarah Jaffe does this seemingly effortlessly.

During her CMJ performance at Spike Hill this past October, her set was simple: One woman onstage with a nylon-stringed guitar, usually plunking a single string while projecting a ghostly moan. Her voice ranges from hushed and roomy to blasting and haunting. Watching her play, you get the sense that Sarah lives somewhere inside her songs, traversing her tune’s melodic passages as if she were walking from one lonely, bare room to another inside her head. Her songs breath and creak, and Sarah does along with them.

By incorporating momentary stretches of silence between passages, often accompanied by a subtle craning of her head towards the stage lights, Sarah grips a room better than most. Her eager audience is pulled along, like a beloved toy tugged behind a wide-eyed exploring child.

Check out Sarah’s music here. Check back soon for a link to her CMJ performance captured by Baeble Music.