Sarah Jaffe at Midpoint Music Festival
Mr Pitifuls, 1323 Main St, 11:45pm
For 28-year-old singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe, Don’t Disconnect is both a mission statement and a call to arms — an album about getting to know yourself in a hyper-connected world that makes it nearly impossible to do just that. The leadoff track from the Texas-born musician’s third LP sets the tone: “Middle of the line/ Middle of the road,” Jaffe sings over mid-tempo beats on “Ride It Out,” “Nowhere to hide on this logical plateau/ Gunna have to ride it out.” “Riding it out” — that is, facing your reality and learning how to cope with it, is a powerful opening credo for an album titled Don’t Disconnect, which emphasizes the power of staying truly “connected” without unplugging from the world around you.
In the six years since her debut EP Even Born Again was self-released in 2008, Jaffe’s endearingly stark narratives have gone from homespun folk-pop songs in the lineage of Lucinda Williams to decidedly cathartic blues-pop ballads that rest at the intersection of indie, folk, and electronic — without losing any of the thoughtfulness or intimacy. “In a testament to old and new,” she once sang on her EP’s title track, and that is a designation that stands even as her music continues to evolve.