Sketch a Venn diagram with ‘Morse Code’ keyboards on one side and ‘Secret Agent’ guitar on the other.
In the overlap? That’s Matt Jaffe and his new single, “Fever”.
“I’m proud to have finally made a record that I want to listen to,” says the San Francisco-based indie alt-rocker. “As the songwriter and the singer, I boast the least objective ears. I think it’s a good sign that I keep returning to the music with joy, though.”
If Jaffe’s personal playlist stacks anything from Bowie to Arctic Monkeys to The Clash, The Beatles, Talking Heads, and Stray Cats, it’s no wonder his forthcoming album The Spirit Catches You and its debut single “Fever” would fit right in.
“This is another installment into my campaign to bring guitar gospel back to the masses,” he says. “There’s some interesting stuff curlicued through the mix, almost like a happy marriage of song-craft and style I hadn’t known before.”
“Before” is in reference to Jaffe’s previous two album releases, Blast Off and California’s Burning, as well as countless open pics in the Bay Area. It wasn’t until Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads offered to produce a release that the 23-year old artist “got serious.” Now, having opened for the likes of Mavis Staples, Wilco, and Blues Traveler — plus co-written alongside Chuck Prophet and the Plain White T’s’ Tom Higgenson — Jaffe’s trajectory has landed him on stage at some of the country’s most legendary taste making venues like The Fillmore, The Troubadour, and Irving Plaza.
“I owe so much to the collaborators who elevated these songs during our sessions,” says Jaffe. “I also credit the time that elapsed between sessions. That time really distilled the frenzied output into one cohesive statement.
“I’m thrilled — though, a younger me would be HORRIFIED — that so many of the songs have relaxed their tempos to find a deliberate pace,” he laughs. “They are comfortable in themselves and exude an intentionally that I’m excited to finally have on record.
“We tried to architect these songs as cinematic spaces,” he continues. “They’re like sonic rooms that can be explored, with nooks all waiting to be discovered on further inspection.”
Discover “Fever” first — available now — and The Spirit Catches You November 9th.