2010 Year-End Press

The end of 2010 has brought with it a whole slew of press updates and highlights… here are a few excerpts from some of the year-end lists!

Pop Candy’s 100 People of 2010 (USA Today): #49 Sarah Jaffe

The Texas-based singer-songwriter burst forth with Suburban Nature, a sharp and sweet debut. If her career keeps growing, her nature just might become more urbanized …

Paste Magazine’s The 10 Best New Solo Artists of 2010: #3 Sarah Jaffe / Hometown: Denton, Texas / Album: Suburban Nature / For Fans Of: Rachael Yamagata, Sam Phillips, Katie Herzig

“I love Texas,” says Sarah Jaffe, “but it’s pretty it is what it is.'” The 23-year-old singer/songwriter (whose last name rhymes with “taffy”) is at a mall in her hometown, on break from touring and killing time before she catches a movie. “I grew up in a place that was pretty much boring. It was brown and flat, but I think that humbleness is very attractive.”

Paste Magazine’s The 50 Best Albums of 2010: #39 Sarah Jaffe: Suburban Nature

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. Playing like wise, witty diary entries 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 says of the inspiration for the album’s 13 songs, some of which were written before Jaffe graduated from high school.—Melanie Gomez

Paste Magazine’s The 50 Best Songs of 2010: #43 “Clementine”

During the last 12 months, these 50 songs from 50 different artists brought us or joy or enveloped our sadness. These are the melodies that stayed stuck in our heads, the words that spoke to us, even if it simply was with a vitriolic epithet that somehow still made us grin ear-to-ear, as was the case with our #1 song of the year. Some of these were radio hits, but most either made their mark on the Internet or among those few who heard them.

Dallas Observer / DC9 at Night’s Best Local Releases of 2010: The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2010: Sarah Jaffe Reaches Her Potential, and “Clementine” Is The Best Song of the Year. From an outsider’s perspective, Sarah Jaffe’s success in 2010 would seem like a pretty surprising, rather overnight thing. Some local girl with a guitar releases her debut album? She gets attention from NPR and USA Today? She tours as an opener for Midlake and — wow, really? — Norah Jones? And now she’s selling out the Granada Theater?

It’s crazy things like that that happen!

Well, except that those paying attention know another story. They see the girl who released her debut EP, Even Born Again, back in 2008. The one who won three awards in our reader-voted Dallas Observer Music Awards that year. And who won another three in 2009, bringing her to six total awards (and no defeats) heading into this year, when, at age 24, Kirtland Records released her full-length debut, Suburban Nature, and Jaffe again swept the DOMAs, this time bringing home six awards, and making her one of the most-decorated winners our awards have ever seen, but also the sole nominee to have never lost an award to another artist. People clearly see something special in her music…

Dallas Observer / DC9 at Night’s Best Local Albums of 2010: #01 Sarah Jaffe – Suburban Nature (Kirtland)

It seems as if the entire region had been waiting years for this, the full-length debut from the most promising singer-songwriter North Texas has spawned in recent memory. And Sarah Jaffe’s Suburban Nature hardly disappointed. If anything, it surpassed expectations, having almost instantly thrust Jaffe to the very top of the local music heap.

Propelled by lead single “Clementine,” Suburban Nature has earned Jaffe countless accolades from regional and national outlets alike in 2010, and deservedly so. Smartly arranged to highlight both the delicate folk-rock instrumentation and the vulnerability of Jaffe’s vocals, the disc is a shockingly intimate listen.

It’s almost too private for comfort at points, actually. And maybe that’s why it’s so enticing a listen. Throughout the album, Jaffe emotionally belts out her tales of heartache and uncertainty with an enviable, reckless abandon and willfully entrusts her audience with her vulnerability. It’s a bold move that would be unwelcome if its presentation weren’t so tender and, more important, relatable.

Jaffe, it turns out, isn’t different from anyone. And that’s what makes her and, in turn, Suburban Nature, so unique. It’s a disc for everyone. It just so happens that Jaffe is behind it.

Dallas Observer / DC9 at Night’s Listomania: The 15 Best Concerts of 2010: #11 Sarah Jaffe at the Granada Theater

Why: This September show felt like a coming out party for Jaffe — much bigger than her CD release show back in May, which drew Jaffe about a quarter of the crowd size she drew to this sold-out affair. And, between the debut of her “Clementine” music video and her sparse, encore cover of Radiohead’s “Creep,” Jaffe made sure her fans left feeling as if they’d seen something special. Which, of course, they had.

Excerpt from review: “There still remain a sign or two of her youth and inexperience — like when, just a few songs in to her headlining slot at the Granada Theater on Saturday night, Sarah Jaffe excused herself from the audience so that she could go grab a guitar strap she’d left backstage. But those were but minor quibbles. Because, as she’s been doing all year, the 24-year-old Jaffe continued to prove herself quite the pro on Saturday night.”

Other year-end lists that included Suburban Nature and/or its songs:
Amazon.com’s The Best Albums of 2010: #58 Suburban Nature
Amazon.com’s The Best Songs of 2010: #60 Summer Begs, #87 Perfect Plan
Dallas Observer / DC9 At Night’s The Top 20 Local Music Videos of 2010: #5 Clementine
KXT 91.7’s Top Songs of 2010 – Listener’s Poll: #01 Clementine, #10 Vulnerable
KXT 91.7’s Top Albums of 2010 – Listener’s Poll: #02 Suburban Nature

Wow… thanks to all the writers and listeners who helped Suburban Nature to be such a success!