Accomodating cuts

Playing like a wise, witty diary entry marked with teardrops, growing pains and effusive honesty, her debut album, Suburban Nature, ebbs and flows on a sea of candid relationship narratives.

“Love is interesting, because when two people come together that way, it can be really hostile and beautiful at the same time,” she said of the inspiration for the album’s 13 songs, some of which were written before Jaffe graduated from high school. Badly Drawn Boy – One Plus One Is One (2004) The poorly illustrated Damon Gaugh had already proven himself a masterful arranger, deftly weaving vignettes, tangents, instrumental interludes and miniature movements into the space of three- to five-minute pop songs.

Every time a song like “Perth” offers a cheery groove, Condon undercuts it with lyrics like “You saw me at my worst / Ragged tires burning for miles / I ran until it hurt.” Condon lost love and then found it while making this record, but rather than write songs about either, he managed to infuse every song on the record with bits of both, a beautiful jumble of emotions that hits you all at once. Sarah Jaffe – Suburban Nature (2008) Sarah Jaffe is a lot like her home state of Texas.

Wide-open, humble and matter-of-fact, she crafts beautiful, raw songs that “are what they are” in the very best way.

It’s a more thoughtful collection—with the choruses more likely to contain epiphanies than punchlines.In fact, reading through this list is overwhelmingly nostalgic, as much a time capsule of the writers and editors we’ve worked with these last 15 years as of the musicians who’ve often graced the cover and pages (both paper and virtual) of our magazine since its inception.Musically, we’re looking at that glorious amalgamation of tradition folk elements (acoustic instruments and vocal styles) with the burgeoning indie-rock scene—or, occasionally, electronic elements applied to folk music.If I had had this track in my eight-track arsenal during my first co-ed slumber party, I would have been much luckier.If only sucking helium could make me sound that good.

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On “Sake of the Song,” over an organ-fueled Memphis blues, he sings: “Hitchhiking, bus riding, rental cars, living rooms, coffee houses, run-down bars, 10,000 people or alone under the stars, it’s all for the sake of the song.” As the number sprawls across a dozen verses, Carll tallies up all the pluses and minuses of the music life—the “record deals and trained seals” and the chance to “tell your truth however you choose”—but refuses to conclude that one outweighs the other.

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