Suburban Nature, the debut album from Denton, Texas' Sarah Jaffe, feels like it was written in several stages, marking the growth on walls of bedrooms and kitchens. There's a sense that the 24-year-old singer-guitarist, who grew up outside of Dallas, took pains to make it feel genuine and personal, a tribute to youth and home.
"I always grew up on the outskirts of these very strange suburbs, and it was sort of an isolating feeling," she relates. "So it's like going back to that place, those houses, those people, looking at all these lives. I wanted to apply that physical setting, give the album a relational aspect to where I was coming from. Tie it all together."
It sounds worlds away from 2008's lo-fi John Congleton-produced EP, Even Born Again, but keeps its spiritual ties, using folk as the foundation. "Clementine" and "Before You Go" charm subtly, the latter opening Suburban Nature with a line Jaffe stretches her voice across the universe for: "My heart pretends not to know how it ends."
"Some of the songs on Suburban Nature are actually really old. I wrote 'Vulnerable' in high school, when I was doing open mics in Dallas. 'Swelling' came after that. It was so long ago. It's strange thinking about where they came from, still attaching myself emotionally to them, but I wanted them on the record, just to give them a chance."