Original article: https://www.imaai.org/mia-suzanne-walker-is-contributing-a-color-to-indie-folk-music/
“Singin’ a song / Cardinal on the fence / Time on my hands / Since I, I don’t know when” croons Mia Suzanne Walker in the opening lines of her song “Passing Me By,” one of the ten comprising Suzanne’s Band’s new album Back to You, her every word echoing the emotion in the melodies behind her. For Walker, every verse is an opportunity to connect with the audience on a musical and spiritual level, and in her latest release Back to You, she rejects the very notion of adhering to one specified set of rules when it comes to making an evocative harmony all the more rousing. She’s following the beat of her own drum here, and exceeding the expectations surrounding the creation of a follow-up to her debut, Breathe.
Vocal harmonies are the undebatable centerpiece for every song on Back to You, but I wouldn’t say that they overshadow the instrumental bedrock of tracks like “Look Up,” “Don’t Give Up Yet” and “Fault in My Stars” at all; actually, the exact opposite. Walker wants us to understand the depth of the narrative in all of these songs, and by investing so much in the relationship between her voice and the backing band, she makes it impossible for us to experience a lyric without feeling the emotion integrated with the music as well. She’s as multidimensional a songwriter as they come, but she isn’t getting overambitious in Back to You – instead, she’s recording the kind of material that best suites her skillset.
There’s more instrumental contrast in “On a Good Day,” “Don’t Give Up Yet,” “I Almost Said I Do” and “Gonna Rise Up” than there was in the whole of the first extended play we heard from Suzanne’s Band, Breathe (released in 2018), and it would surprise me a great deal if I were the only critic to notice as much. If Walker was trying to redefine her identity with a multifaceted attack in Back to You, she essentially hit this one out of the park and then some, because from every angle that I’ve analyzed it, she seems to be going out of her way to make each element within her style of play stand out and affect the mood of any given composition as much as producers would her cornerstone attributes.
If you’re looking for the perfect mix of homespun, old fashioned country crooning and contemporary folk/pop aesthetics in a single cocktail, you’re going to want to add Suzanne’s Band’s Back to You to your record collection a lot sooner than later. With the assistance of her ably-chosen cast of supporting players, Mia Suzanne Walker is contributing a color to indie folk music that had been mostly absent from the genre in the early and mid-2010’s, and now that the 2020’s are finally upon us, I think we’re going to see her come into her own in ways that had only been teased in her early efforts. I’ll be keeping an eye on her growth, and I’d recommend music fans everywhere think about doing the same.
Original article: https://mobyorkcity.com/back-to-you-lp-by-suzannes-band/
In the shadow of a ghostly wind, an acoustic guitar begins to play, the voice of one Mia Suzanne Walker not too far behind from its opening salvo of string melodies. This is “Write a Book,” an excerpt from the album Back to You by Suzanne’s Band, and it’s one of the better examples I can point to when talking about the experimentation its lead singer is toying with in her latest release. In her debut EP Breathe, Walker proved she could do some amazing things with the mic in her hand, but here, she takes her craftsmanship to a whole new level of accessibility.
There’s a lot of emphasis on the strings in the songs “Fault in My Stars,” “Passing Me By,” the percussion-powered “Don’t Give Up Yet” and “Wonder When,” and rightly so. There’s really no better compliment to the vocal that Walker is dispensing with ease from the middle of the mix in all four of these tracks, and though she arguably can make just as much magic with a piano melody (check out the harmonies in “Look Up”), she’s smart enough to know exactly which elements to pair with the particular singing styles she’s utilizing in Back to You.
The energy that I get from “Wonder When,” “I Almost Said I Do” and the title track is steeped in an unapologetically live format, leading me to think that these songs were probably created with Suzanne’s Band’s stage show in mind. I haven’t seen her sing in-person for myself yet, but based on the reception she’s got from her performances in the past, I can imagine that these new compositions will do very well with the current setlist she’s been working with on the road. She’s got a great presence, and in this kind of music, that’s as important as having lyrical substance – if not a bit more so, on occasion.
Lyrically speaking, I think that Walker sounds a lot more vulnerable in songs like “Look Up,” “On a Good Day,” “Don’t Give Up Yet” and “I Almost Said I Do” than she ever has in previous recordings. It would be nice to hear her exploit the depth of her songwriting abilities more as the 2020’s press on, because at the end of the day, she has a grasp of melodic composing that is appealing to pop, country and folk listeners alike, which isn’t an easy combination of audiences to win over these days.
Fans new and old alike won’t want to miss out on this latest release from Suzanne’s Band this January, and with any luck, this won’t be the only set of songs that she issues before the year is done. Mia Suzanne Walker is following her heart with her music, and even if she isn’t using the commercial template that so many artists would in a bid to get fame and fortune, my gut tells me that the mainstream spotlight isn’t going to ignore her output for very long. She’s got the chops to do great things in this business, and she’s off to an excellent start in Back to You.
Original article: http://thehollywooddigest.com/suzannes-bands-back-to-you-in/
Bluesy swing and exotic melodicism of the richest variety come together to make one heck of a strong introduction to Suzanne’s Band’s Back to You in the opening bars of its first track, “Fault in My Stars,” and as the confident serenade of Ms. Mia Suzanne Walker begins to fill our speakers with unbreakably smooth tonality, it becomes clear that this full-length album is going to be quite the harmonious journey for anyone within earshot of its rhythmic melodies. More swaggering beats await us just around the corner in “On a Good Day” and the country flashfire “Passing Me By,” and with Suzanne herself leading the way, we’re soon lost in a misty sea of rhythm and rhyme definitely worth writing home about this January.
“Passing Me By” essentially marks the end of the big blues grooves in Back to You, as its neighbor “Write a Book” departs towards a folkier sound more akin to what we heard from Suzanne’s band in their Breathe EP. “Don’t Give Up Yet” is a traditional country song with a flamboyant rough edge, and considering its placement in the tracklist, I think that it’s the perfect segue into the second half of the album, and more specifically, the experimental folk/rock that Walker’s group will lay down over the next five tracks. There’s a great flow to all of the music here, and to be frank, Back to You is usually a pretty tough record to put down once you’ve pressed play on any of its ten inspired compositions.
The title track here is the most elaborate song on the album, but its arrangement doesn’t sound exaggerated next to the other material here. “I Almost Said I Do” is equally layered and difficult to pin down aesthetically, mostly because of its bluegrass-style beats and galloping acoustic guitars, but next to “Wonder When,” it doesn’t really demand a lot from Suzanne as a singer. “Wonder When” has a complicated lyrical structure that must have taken more than a couple of takes to perfect, but I think this vocalist was more than ready for the challenge. She might not have been ready for the complexities of a track like this one, nor those in “Look Up,” back in 2018, but she’s developed her singing style so much since then that recording more streamlined material would now sound rather underwhelming.
Back to You’s last song, “Gonna Rise Up,” gave me chills the first time I listened to it, and in every time since, I feel like another piece of its artistic persona is revealed to me. This is a record that takes a couple of dedicated listens to really appreciate and fully understand, but if there’s any LP that I would tell indie enthusiasts to get their hands on before the month of January is over, this would probably be the first one I’d mention. Mia Suzanne Walker leads an elite group of musicians into battle and emerges with a victorious sound rooted less in boastful virtuosity and more in organic creativity, and while I’ve said so before, I’m even more excited to hear what she does next after hearing this latest album from her camp.
Original article: https://toomuchlovemagazine.com/suzanne-walker-releases-new-lp/
If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like to throw a handful of blues-influenced, roaring electric guitars, delicate acoustics, mischievously flexible grooves, passion-laden vocals and evocative folk harmonies together into a melting pot of melodic charms, you’re in for quite the special listening experience when giving the new album from Suzanne’s Band, Back to You, a spin. Back to You is the official sequel to Breathe, an extended play that Suzanne’s Band released to much acclaim back in 2018, and if you liked what you heard on that first offering, you’re going to be very impressed with what the Mia Suzanne Walker-led group has put together for us in this, their latest release. Right out of the gate in “Fault in My Stars,” Walker straddles a buoyant beat with the seamless command of a seasoned studio pro, and while she’s not as much of a veteran as her affectionate performances might have us believe, she’s nevertheless rolling like a deeply talented professional here, in songs like “I Almost Said I Do,” “Don’t Give Up Yet,” “Write a Book” and “Look Up,” all of which would make for marvelous singles in their own right.
As far as production quality is concerned, Back to You is the most polished effort we’ve seen from Suzanne’s Band thus far, and you needn’t look much further than the acrylic detail on both “Wonder When” and the title track to understand exactly what I mean. There’s not a stone left unturned in the big picture of these two songs, and really any of the other eight that join them in the tracklist here, with the pendulous groove of the strings creating a miniature sonic hurricane in “Wonder When” that is just as sumptuous to consume as the slow-motion stomp of “Gonna Rise Up” is. From beginning to end in Back to You, we’re forced in one way or another to react to whatever aural intricacies the music might contain, and having sat down with this album on more than one occasion (without any external interruptions, as it was likely meant to be heard in the first place), I admit that there are a seemingly endless supply of said intricacies for us to sort through. Could it be a touch overwhelming for newcomers? Maybe, but when taking into account how melodic it is, I seriously doubt it.
YOU TUBE CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2h8WyLZ_6rNfnrzm4d7FKg
Indie critics haven’t been able to stop talking about Suzanne’s Band and Mia Suzanne Walker herself in the last couple of years, and those who are curious as to why need to take some time out to spend with the stunning Back to You, which debuts this January everywhere quality alternative country, folk and pop music is sold and streamed. Suzanne’s Band aren’t holding anything back from us in this release, and though I’m sure that we’re going to hear plenty more gems from this group in the future, this gives us a great idea of how much excitement we genuinely have to look forward to from this Walker-fronted harmony machine. Let it be known that Back to You is one of 2020’s first epic listens, not only because of its uniquely stylish finish, but because of its phenomenally talented designer.
In a passionate lead vocal that has become her calling card, Mia Suzanne Walker, driving force behind Suzanne’s Band, lays into the chorus of “Look Up” with as much strength as she can muster from behind the microphone, but as anyone who explores her new album Back to You will discover, she brings this kind of a moxie to every song she records. In tracks like this one and the rollicking “Write a Book,” Suzanne chases after enormous harmonies whilst creating a crushingly emotional, atmospheric instrumentation in the foreground that is perfect when coupled with her soft poeticisms.
“Gonna Rise Up” rounds out the tracklist of Back to You with a melancholic melody that lingers in the air long after the record has stopped playing, but for as anthemic a ballad as it is, it doesn’t minimize darker, more dexterous numbers like the deceptively simple “On a Good Day” at all. There’s a good balance of themes on this LP, and even when she’s playing to one strength over another (such as her sensational lead vocal, or a specific part in a harmony), Suzanne never sounds removed from the trajectory of her backing band at all.
“Passing My By” and “Wonder When” both take a lot of the fragmented ends from Suzanne’s Band’s first record, the Breathe EP, and pieces them together in a much more mature and refined melodicism than she’s exhibited in the past, and personally I think these two tracks show her progressing evolution better than most any others on Back to You do. She’s growing a lot as an artist, and in the last two years, I think she’s done more to improve her overall approach to composing and performing than a lot of her closest rivals on the left side of the dial (and the mainstream, for that matter) have.
PURCHASE LINK: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/suzannesband1
The country components of the Suzanne’s Band sound have never been as formidable as they are in “Don’t Give Up Yet,” “I Almost Said I Do” and the title track in Back to You, and I for one couldn’t be happier to hear them in this state. Suzanne is and always will be a country singer above all else, and though her music drifts into folk and rock territory more often than a lot of Nashville-influenced players’ would, I think this is what gives her such a distinct, and easily identifiable, sound and artistry.
From “Fault in My Stars” to the brooding “Gonna Rise Up,” Suzanne’s Band doesn’t let us down with their latest collection of golden ballads, mild bruisers and pop-friendly swing jams, and while I enjoyed Breathe, I don’t think there’s going to be any debate as to whether or not this is the more superior of the two recordings. Suzanne is playing with her heart on her sleeve in this album, and as long as she continues to produce music with as much of her soul as she clearly did here, she’s going to be an important entity in the American underground for the foreseeable future.
Original article: https://indiepulsemusic.com/2019/11/16/one-more-night-of-christmas-by-suzannes-band/
In their latest single, the holiday ballad “One More Night of Christmas,” Suzanne’s band get back to basics stylistically while imprinting their own unique mark on an iconic genre within western pop music. “One More Night of Christmas” challenges the one and only Mia Suzanne Walker to push her vocal abilities to the very limit without overstretching her skillset, and while her backing band provides an adept backdrop perfect for the tone of the music, it’s her singing that tends to light a fire more than anything else here does. Whether you’ve heard this group’s work before or not, this is a single that I highly recommend taking a look at this season.
As previously mentioned, the lead vocal is the undeniable centerpiece of “One More Night of Christmas,” and I would even argue that it’s one of the warmer performances we’ve heard from Suzanne since her debut release, Breathe. Her naturally intimate drawl adds an elegance to the grander scheme of things that wouldn’t be present otherwise, and although there are a couple of moments around the chorus where she appears to cede some of the ground to the percussive parts, she never steps away from the spotlight long enough for us to break the spell created by her serenade.
This track has got one of the better basslines I’ve reviewed in the last month, and without its delicate cushioning of the lyrics, I’m not completely convinced that “One More Night of Christmas” would be quite as captivating as it is in this particular capacity. There’s not a stitch of unutilized space in this mix, and while the edges are rounded out nicely by the bass parts, I don’t get the sense that there ever was a lot of cleaning up to do behind the soundboard ahead of this single’s official release.
The percussion here is really consistent but never intrusive on the other components in the song at all, which is difficult to do when considering just how tight a production style Suzanne’s Band decided to go with in this track. There’s a little swing in the steps, and despite coming close a couple of times, the beat never devolves into overindulgence or obscurity behind the mammoth command of the lead vocal. Suzanne wants us to experience the full scope of her group’s sound here, and by keeping things on an even plain aesthetically, she’s able to show us everything they’ve got and then some.
If you’ve been following their work lately, you’re absolutely going to love what Suzanne’s Band has done with the wonderful “One More Night of Christmas,” which I would deem one of the smarter Christmas tunes I’ve had the pleasure of encountering in the buildup to the holiday season. Suzanne continues to expand upon her trademark sound in this latest release, and though I’m certain that this won’t be the last time we find her music making headlines in some corner of the American pop underground or another, I’ve got a feeling that this is going to serve as one of her more popular releases among fans throughout the wintertime from here on out.
Original article: https://mobangeles.com/one-more-night-of-christmas-by-suzannes-band/
Production-wise, “One More Night of Christmas” is a really sterling offering from a band that has never been known to skimp on quality in the past. The varnish over the instrumental parts in the song is noticeably shiny but hardly a product of the commercial pop model, and I think that the vocals – while being lightly polished in certain parts of the chorus – are relatively raw by comparison. This doesn’t force any sort of duality or contrast in the music (truthfully, it does anything but), but it instead maximizes the depth of emotion in the textural elements of the song more than I would have expected it to. Suzanne is using every tool at her disposal here, from the mix to the melodies to the emotion within the players themselves, in her mission to make us embrace whatever’s on her mind via this medium, and though this isn’t her most involved listen, it’s probably one of the most emotive in tone because of the subject matter and recognizable nature of the composition’s genre itself.
“One More Night of Christmas” is another excellent piece from Suzanne’s Band and a great addition to any winter holiday soundtrack, and whether you’re a big fan of seasonal music or not, I think that it has more than enough detail and decadence to please most pop fans this November and December. Suzanne is absolutely on fire with the microphone in this song, and even if it is a track tailor-made for those who have a penchant for pulsating holiday grooves, it’s just as tangible a listen if you love pop melodies and unadulterated swing as much as I do.
With “One More Night of Christmas,” Suzanne’s Band adds one more hit to their list of sensational songs to see release in the last two years, starting with the seminal 2017 debut Breathe and its six stately tracks. I’m eager for more, and after you’ve heard this, I think you will be as well.
Original article: https://indieshark.com/music-reviews/suzannes-band-one-more-night-of-christmas/
On the back of a graceful beat, Suzanne’s Band lay into the instrumental intro to “One More Night of Christmas,” and although this part of the song is remarkably short, it makes an impact that lingers over the remaining three and a half minutes of the track just the same. There’s a springiness to the rhythm here, an up-tempo sway if you will, but there isn’t any urgency to the dispensing of the melody. Nothing is rushed in this latest single from Suzanne’s Band; contrarily, there’s a close attention to even the smallest of details that many folk crossover groups would just as soon ignore. The bottom line? “One More Night of Christmas” starts out overwhelmingly strong and only gets more gripping as we take in its heroic harmonies.
Mia Suzanne Walker, the mastermind behind Suzanne’s Band, is really good at spicing up a chorus, but she simply outdoes herself in this single. On the first occasion that she has to shine, she bursts through the verses without any hesitation and emerges on the other side of the hook with a rare swagger only hinted at in her last album, Breathe. By the time that we’re nearing the conclusion of the track, she’s taken us one hundred and eighty degrees in the other direction, whispering the chorus with an adorably relatable reticence ahead of the song’s grand finale. She’s taking a familiar formula and putting her own embellishment on it, which is common among superstars but not quite as frequent among her indie peer group.
The instrumentation in this single is very well-arranged but the vocal is always the focus from start to finish. You just can’t put someone like Walker on the stage and expect different results – when she’s belting out a verse, it’s as though the entire band behind her is moving in slow motion, adjusting their play to better suit the tonality of her voice. She’s quite the singer and has shown a lot of growth just in the two years that have passed since we last heard from her, and if she’s able to continue the evolutionary process through at least the first half of 2020, she and her band are going to be looking at a lot more limelight in this next decade.
With a peaceful fade into the sunrise, “One More Night of Christmas” comes to an end and leaves a giant void where its rhythmic grooves once occupied only moments earlier. I’ve always said that it’s even harder to record a successful holiday track than it is to make a popular rookie release, but Suzanne’s Band makes it look incredibly easy in this latest studio cut. From their approach to the lyrics to the immaculate treatment of the melodies, there’s no debate as to whether or not this is an extraordinary piece and a great way to ring in the holiday season, but I wouldn’t call it the peak for the artists who play it. Mia Suzanne Walker and her self-titled band are far from finished, and their passion in this single displays just how much they have left in the tank.