Hot off the release of their 2020 album Back to You, Suzanne’s Band is back with another standout addition for the modern independent blues-rock canon with Ice & Fire. Fans will recognize a great deal of familiarity between this and Walker’s previous songs, but longtime listeners and fans can rest assured that Walker and company still have a great deal of ground to lay on the road they’ve already seemingly paved with perfection. Perfection is a lofty goal … but it can be forged with the help of ice and fire.
In the mere half-decade that Suzanne’s Band has been around, the band has been doing everything but resting on their laurels. Even with bandleader Mia Suzanne Walker’s recent acceptance into the Recording Academy, Suzanne’s Band have been pushing themselves to the limit with every new release. As Suzanne’s Band functions first and foremost as a solo project for Walker, each project understandably comes from her own life experiences and the songs feel greatly personal. Ice & Fire is an album that feels as personal as they come clocking in at nine tracks and just over thirty minutes long. Brevity is the soul of wit, truly, as Walker manages to get in and out, never overstaying her welcome. The short runtime is almost distracting in the way it leaves audiences craving more music, more heartfelt lyricism, but Suzanne’s Band is never far from the recording studio and a follow-up is almost guaranteed to be certain and near.
Ice & Fire is a substantial piece of work, for as short as it is. The album relishes its pinpointed existence within the realms of blues/country funk but isn’t afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve. For every upbeat, pop-driven single (give “Night Blues” a listen for something that fits the bill), listeners will be rewarded with a softer approach to Walker’s songwriting — indeed, songs like “Reach You” or “By the Bayou” serve as unexpected standouts for Ice & Fire as they tap into something wholly unanticipated when compared to the project’s more up-tempo offerings. The impeccable balancing act of tone and marketable content from Suzanne’s Band is something major artists spend entire careers chasing, but Walker has the knack down pat and only two albums into her solo career!
A couple of other favorite tracks include the title track, “Ice and Fire,” as it paints a warm, sultry picture of ill-fated, yet much-needed, romance, as well as “Indio,” which serves early on as an emotional anchor for listeners. The former allows Walker to play within the same sandbox as Chris Isaak’s well-known “Wicked Game,” and the latter relinquishes a bit of Walker’s Texan image to the deserts of California, even if just for a few fleeting minutes.
There’s something for the novice as much as there is for musical veterans within Ice & Fire, and the brief runtime allows time for much-needed repeat listens. Walker feels more in her pocket than ever and the future of Suzanne’s Band feels renewed and rejuvenated with the necessary icy-hot precautions needed to pull this confident and cool sophomore album off.
Original article: https://melodymakermagazine.com/2022/01/19/suzannes-band-releases-ice-fire/