Denton, Texas, native Sarah Jaffe opens "Clementine" -- from her album Suburban Nature, which she recorded in an old funeral parlor -- with a list that includes "50 states, 50 lines, 50 crying-all-the-times / 50 boys, 50 lies, 50 I'm-gonna-change-my-minds. " It's a tune of wistful regret, but its quick tempo keeps "Clementine" from seeming especially morose. With her velvety voice, Jaffe repeats key phrases swiftly ("We were young, we were young, we were young, we didn't care"), transforming the song into a sort of lullaby for adults.
Halfway through "Clementine," Jaffe comes back to the words that opened the song, but now she belts them with fierce confidence. For a 24-year-old singer who's just releasing her first full-length album, she's got a knack for reflecting on the past with the benefit of clear hindsight. "Clementine" may wind down to an easygoing conclusion, but Jaffe's immensely promising career is just getting started.
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