With Jonathan Clark, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 30, at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999 or www.mcgonigels.com
"Somewhere someone's listening to the sound of a record spinning," Sarah Jaffe confides on "Summer Begs," from her new album, Suburban Nature. "Secrets are for keeping/ That's what gives them their meaning / It's your certain proclamation, and it needs no explanation." Explanations may not be needed for Jaffe's gentle folk-pop music, but it's worth noting that the Dallas singer-guitarist reveals more intelligence and thoughtfulness than most mellow songwriters. "Before You Go" starts out as an acoustic campfire tune, until the drums kick in and her soaring vocals take on an eerie aspect. "Clementine" and "Wreaking Havoc" are solemn, vulnerable songs shaded movingly with moody swells of violin and cello. Meanwhile, the austere echoes of "Swelling" evoke the painful intimacy of Cat Power's balladry.