Ever since the post-Gold Rush 1800s, the name Clementine has been mined for folk songs by the likes of Percy Montrose, Barker Bradford, H.S. Thompson, and — most notably in my book — Elliott Smith. Nowadays: “I wish I was a little more delicate, ” sings Austin, Texas’ Sarah Jaffe. “I wish my name was Clementine.” Among the obvious longing for identity beyond a given name, coming to terms with the past, and possible Eternal Sunshine shout-out, lies an endearing plea for a bullet point in singer-songwriter history.
I’d rather not burden Jaffe’s gorgeous debut record with such a daunting designation just yet, but this is an undeniably stunning start and welcome mission statement to say the least. Watch Jaffe sing her “Clementine” (via Dirty Laundry) and stream the studio version, complete with free MP3, below:
Sarah Jaffe – “Clementine”