Image by Dani Okon
BlackBook has made no secret of our endless appreciation for the inimitable charms of one Sarah Jaffe. It helps that the Texas songstress always seems to have something particularly clever rattling around in her head, waiting to pop out and make the world just that little bit more fascinating.
And so she at last emerges from our universal pandemic condition with her latest project, Golden Aquarians, a musical partnership with multi-instrumentalist/composer Roberto Sanchez. And their debut single “High Enough” (which BlackBook premieres here, along with its accompanying video) is truly the isolation meditation we’ve all been waiting for. The track feels somehow languidly cool and anthemic at once, with its trip-hoppy grooves, and chill-inducing choruses—which find Ms. Jaffe confronting these months-long lockdown conditions with lyrical optimism, proclaiming, “I really wanna see the other side / I know we’ll make it out alive”
“The song is a product of our time,” explains Sanchez, “written in isolation, and recorded using remote technology.”
The video is a charmingly peculiar bit of 8-bit nostalgia, whose engagingly equivocal narrative can leave one guessing at interpretations for hours on end—but also simply offers a quick, adventurous little escape from our especially ominous new reality. It’s directed by Dani Okon, who admits that, “The visual worlds of 8-bit and 16-bit video games have always entranced me.”
Jaffe herself enthuses, “Dani does a supreme job of bringing the heart of a song’s meaning to life visually. With ‘High Enough’ in particular, she did it by creating a world that takes us out of our own. That felt so necessary, and I didn’t even know it until she showed us the first cut.“