Sarah Jaffe, No Mas Bodas, Basic, and Holy Wave
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., April 8, 2011
With her glowing showing at South by Southwest last month, the proper release of Sarah Jaffe's 2008 EP, Even Born Again, gives her sound and vision better perspective. Last year's Suburban Nature LP saw the Denton songstress carving out her own space within the overcrowded "folk" scene. Even Born Again, also released on Dallas' Kirtland Records, was her blank slate, and though the title track and "Under" seem a bit precious, it's also a more personal album, filled with the poetry of a young woman finding her voice ("Ain't nobody's girl/Ain't nobody's man"). An added remix hints at the electronic shifts of new material she debuted last month. Local lady quartet No Mas Bodas sticks to electronica on its new five-song EP, following up last year's lovely debut, Erotic Stories From the Space Capsule. From opener "Quicksand" to closer "Ocean," it's a quick run across time and space, like a Doctor Who soundtrack via Kate Bush's The Sensual World. Homegrown duo Basic was overdue, and the cover of a new five-song EP suggests they may be floating in space as well. Lo-Fi EP strips away the group's power-pop sound in favor of strutty R&B beats ("Get It Started"), Miami thump ("Girls Who Bump"), and a Joe Jackson-esque reworking of "I Tried To Call You." It works. While we're all waiting for 8-track tapes to finally make a comeback, cassettes are enjoying their 15 minutes, and Holy Wave's two-songer on indie cassette label Fungal Hunger is one of the better spools floating around. A-side "Best Friends" and B-side "Arab Spring" combine for more heavy-lidded summer psych, the kind that melts on your dashboard.