Editor's Note: Over the next 10 days, I'll be presenting my favorite local records of the year, counting down from No. 10 to No. 1, one album a day. Keep checking back to see how the list pans out, and, in the meantime, click after the jump to see albums No. 20-11 in the Top 20 list that will update as the it grows...
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A powerhouse of a talent, Sarah Jaffe's music is compelling because it so craftily stradles the line between the delicate and the confident. And here, on her first official release (even if it is just a six-track EP), Jaffe uses those intricate songwriting talents to announce her arrival in a big way.
It's the album of a 22-year-old who doesn't know she's 22; it's as if she's bottled up her emotions, sent them 10 years into the future, and asked her future self to write the score for her life. Only, well, that 22-year-old clearly has things under control on her own.
Although heavily reliant on Jaffe's vocals and acoustic guitar playing, Even Born Again is more than just another folk record: The title track is a sweeping, almost bombastic affair, and the surprisingly raucous "Under" utilizes a fuzzed out electric guitar and a plodding drum beat to great, almost Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-like effect.
The Top 20 Local Releases Of 2008
20. Collin Herring - Past Life Crashing
19. Stumptone - Gravity Suddenly Released
18. Dove Hunter - The Southern Unknown
17. Febrifuge - A Short Instance Of Separation
16. Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights - Hot Trottin'
15. Toadies - No Deliverance
14. Record Hop - Record Hop
13. The New Frontiers - Mending
12. Fight Bite - Emerald Eyes
11. Lil Wil - Dolla$, TX
10. Dem Southernfolkz - The Message
9. True Widow - True Widow
8. The Theater Fire - Matter and Light
7. Centro-matic/South San Gabriel - Dual Hawks
6. Sarah Jaffe - Even Born Again EP
...and keep checking back, as this list will update daily.