Sarah Jaffe is the KUTX Artist of the Month for July.
It’s hard to pin down Sarah Jaffe, and that’s exactly what makes her such an exciting artist. She came out of the fertile Denton music scene about a decade ago with a folk-leaning sound, but she soon remade herself as a pop singer with a darkened, slightly askew sensibility. Jaffe is the only singer I know of who’s played with Cyndi Lauper, Norah Jones, and Midlake while also providing music for everyone from Eminem to Pixar. She’s a worker, a curious artist who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.
Which makes the backstory for Bad Baby, Jaffe’s fourth album, all the more ironic: she was waiting around for inspiration before a friend reminded her that creativity is all about hard work. And Bad Baby shows its seams, in a good way. It’s hard-edged, alternating between big, swing-for-the-fences synth-pop and intimate ballads (“Help Yourself” even starts with a bum note and a muttered expletive). “Bad Baby” is in the former category, huge and glossy with a sticky-sweet earworm. But no matter what Jaffe puts her hands on, she always seems to make it her own.
“Bad Baby” appears on the album of the same name, out July 7.
–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX