Music We Love: "Bad Baby" by Sarah Jaffe
Sarah Jaffe's continued exploration of electro-pop/dance-gaze/synth-hop sounds makes her new album stand out — but it's still all about the songs.
With her new synth-heavy album, Bad Baby, Sarah Jaffe shows an even deeper growth in her musicianship. One might question whether her intense-yet-gentle vocal approach pairs well with the kind of electro-pop beats featured on the new album. Rest assured, it works. Jaffe’s versatility shines through in each track, starting with the sensuous “Synthetic Love” and closing with “Shit Show,” a driven, poppy track that's anything but its namesake.
The road to this latest album was a long one. She felt she had reached a stagnant creative point before receiving a tidbit of advice that kickstarted the album-making process.
“The gist was basically — ‘You’re not 19 anymore and songs aren’t just going to come to you. There’s no muse, it’s work’ — I knew this already, but I suppose I was ready to hear it because a light bulb went off,” Jaffe says.
She began collaborating with S1, a producer who has worked with Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Kanye West. Their project, The Dividends, led to their creation of a Grammy-award-winning track featured on Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The success and influence of learning new techniques pushed Jaffe to a spot where she could start Bad Baby.
Jaffe’s voice remains ethereal and airy on every track, whether it’s a dance track like “No Worries” or an orchestral voyage like “As Ever.” “Synthetic Love” begins as a perfect marriage of Jaffe’s powerful voice and synth gold. The title track is commanding and catchy, and “Freaking Out” showcases the fruits of Jaffe's embrace of hip-hop beats.
Jaffe’s lyrics remain thought-provoking throughout, a glimpse into her dedication to her art, seeking out her own inspiration, and never settling. Those vocals, coupled with a Stranger Things vibe in every beat, make Bad Baby stand out from the electro pack and position Jaffe as an influential innovator in the realm of intelligent pop songcraft.
Header photo by Lindsey Byrnes
Header image design by Sara Button