By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
The Way Sound Leaves A Room is a short compilation of cover songs and demos intended to hold fans over while adored Denton-based singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe works on her second LP. But it doesn't necessarily feel like the appetizer it's meant to be. Each track on the eight-song collection may sound completely different form the next, but Jaffe still braids them together with her distinctive intimacy.
The disc opens with a sexy yet heartfelt stripped-down take on Drake and The-Dream's "Shut It Down," in which Jaffe croons over piano chords, strings and backing vocals. The other cover on the EP, Cold War Kids' "Louder Than Ever," is more doleful, sounding like it takes a few cues from Metric's Emily Haines.
From there, the disc moves on to originals: The third track is an alternative, more intimate version of Jaffe's breakthrough regional single, "Clementine." The lyrics are unchanged, still about wanting to feel "a little more delicate," but, really, the track can't get much more fragile; Jaffe's smoky vocals are laced atop luscious piano play and haunted by tidal howls that drift in and out of the track. The remaining songs on the album stray from the conventions of the traditional singer-songwriter protocol: "Better Than Nothing (Outro-Demo)" is a tempest of chants, tinkering piano and faint percussion that swirl together for just over two minutes; "When You Test (Demo)" toys with electronic elements; "A Sucker For Your Marketing (Demo)," meanwhile, embodies early new wave influences.
Jaffe is growing as an artist. With this EP, fans get their first taste of her new direction.