Since the 1960’s, America has had a love affair with music that speaks to our roots and reminds us of what it’s like to be a part of something that is so much bigger than we are. Something that speaks to the very essence of our souls and drives us to so and accomplish anything that we set forth to do. I don’t know if Mia Suzanne Walker was setting out to create something as spellbinding as her debut extended play Breathe, but she not only exceeds expectations listeners have in a rookie offering, but creates an intrinsic new category of indie folk music all its own. Much like the complicated lovers that dwell in Walker’s lyrics, I found myself falling into a complex love with Suzanne’s Band’s style introduced to me on this record.
When analyzing the evolution of popular music using The Beatles as a starting point and present day as the finish line, there are few consistencies to point to when it comes to predicting market patterns. One consistent is love songs, since much like mankind’s need for water and oxygen, people will always be finding each other and pushing each other away in the same breath. Another is anthems of regret, which allow us to feel like we’re not alone in ruing the decisions that ultimately forge our identity. The third and final consistent theme is rejection, whether it be of societal ethos and regulation, or of each other, since, as much as we may pretend that national division is completely divisive in every sense, division between people tends to breed a sense of unity among the arts community, regardless of race or political background. Through her approach we can see that Mia Suzanne Walker is aware of all of this, or at least she gets the narrative, because her music not only hits all of the required markers to be considered relevant, but it expands on the themes that audiences hold so dear to their heart.
If you’re looking for love songs, “One from Two” satisfies any romantic urges you may be harboring with its eloquent relation of stormy weather to the landscape of what’s like to be wandering life alone. Walker describes finding the missing piece, the one person who can understand her and steal her heart from her chest without any resistance, something anyone who has found their soulmate will instantly find kinship in. “Losing You” shows us all the scary possibilities that loom over our actions, as just as easily that we found the love that now lights up our life, we can lose it, as if in an instant. The contrast is profound, and it cannot help but make one humbled in his or her decisions in love and life.
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that in all six of the incredible songs offered here on Suzanne’s Band’s Breathe EP, audiences and critics will have a hard time finding any blemishes in its pure, warm conveyance of poetic leitmotifs.
by Mindy McCall