Introducing... Suzanna Choffel
Her 2006 release, 'Shudders and Rings', was on folk-jazz tip with some Brazilian flavors, while 2011's 'Steady Eye Shaky Bow' would rather fit in an indie-soul-pop-reggae-blues category. The album, produced by Danny Reisch (White Denim/The Bright Light Social Hour…), was followed in 2012 with some great exposure thanks to her inspiring performances on NBC's hit TV show 'The Voice', switching easily between jazz, blues, soul, reggae and pop.
Having gained a national following in the US, Suzanna Choffel has her second album re-released worldwide by Red Parlor Records with a new track order, an exclusive track, and re-named 'Archer'. With great songwriting and musicans, including special guests Big Sam's Funky Nation and pianist Davíd Garza, the record is a grower which deserved a wider distribution!
A few days before she starts hitting the road in Europe, starting with 11 dates in France (including next saturday, january 25th, at Le Baiser Salé in Paris!), and before the French audience start getting addicted to her signature voice and loveable spirit, the Paris DJs label is celebrating her venue with a special exclusive new Suzanna Choffel single, a reggae remix by the unstoppable Grant Phabao of her superb 2013 single originally produced by Adrian Quesada and featured in Bandcamps's Best of 2013 Taster's Choice Mix, 'Guardians' (check HERE).
Info on the album, videos and complete tour dates below.
Suzanna Choffel - Archer
(CD/Digital) Red Parlor Records, 2013-11-19
01. Race Car
05. Hot Shot
08. Hold Of The Night
09. So The Story Goes
10. Golden Fires
Press Release :
Suzanna Choffel will release her album, 'Archer,' November 19 worldwide via Red Parlor Records, distributed by Entertainment One. Recorded in Austin, Texas, and New York City, the album's 10 tracks combine Choffel's depth of songwriting with an array of musical talent, from special guests Big Sam's Funky Nation and pianist Davíd Garza, to producer/musician Danny Reisch (White Denim, Okkervil River). Choffel, whose signature voice floats on a spectrum between Feist and Erykah Badu, is sole writer on all but two songs, mingling R&B, reggae, pop and jazz into a thrilling and distinct sound that reflects her broad influences spanning Peter Tosh to Patty Griffin.
Choffel grew up in Austin and spent years cultivating her instinctive style before moving to New York City, a path that inspired "Golden Fires"--a wistful, slow-burning ode that strikes a universal chord. The album balances heady introspection against lush textures and bounding rhythm: from the string-laden, reggae-infused "Race Car" and the percussive, provocative title track, "Archer," to the sultry groove of "Animal" and soulful, syncopated sound of "Raincloud," graced with real New Orleans funk by Big Sam Williams on trombone and Da Phessah Drew Baham on trumpet. A lover by turns cool in "Hot Shot," fiery and impassioned in "Hold Of The Night," and paradoxical in "Stumble," Choffel's soul is palpable throughout, and her music is a beautiful vehicle for her words.
Suzanna has been gathering accolades for her guitar playing since her early teens, and counts Alejandro Escovedo and Charlie Sexton among her fans. This summer she recorded a new song, "Hello Goodbye," with special guest Escovedo for an "ALL ATX" compilation benefiting Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, and she recently premiered the song live at Austin City Limit's Moody Theater in a powerful duet with Sexton, taped for PBS broadcast. Also included in the concert program is Choffel's dynamic live performance of "Raincloud" from the album.
There's been a crescendo of activity for Choffel in the last year, including a star turn on NBC's popular primetime program The Voice, winning over fans with her renditions of Fleetwood Mac and Florence Welch, and garnering critical raves, with Rolling Stone calling her "a woman who knows her own voice," possessing "all the vibe in the world."
Tour dates :
Jan 24 Le Lapin Blanc - Réding, France
Jan 25 Le Baiser Salé - Paris, France
Jan 28 Le Clou du Spectacle - Nancy, France
Jan 29 Le Clou du Spectacle - Nancy, France
Jan 30 Le Lapin Blanc - Réding, France
Jan 31 Le Cabaret Pop - Gap, France
Feb 01 Le Cabaret Pop - Gap, France
Feb 04 Cave Ets Vallauri - Cannes, France
Feb 05 Le B Spot - Nice, France
Feb 07 Le Grattoir - Gérardmer, France
Feb 08 Le Terminus - Sarreguemines, France
Suzanna Choffel discography :
Shudders & Rings (album, Middlebitty Records, 2006)
Steady Eye Shaky Bow (album, Middlebitty Records, 2011)
"Golden Fires" (digital single, 2011)
"Landslide" (digital single, Universal Republic, 2012)
"Dog Days Are Over" (digital single, Universal Republic, 2012)
"Archer" (album, Red Parlor, 2013)
Suzanna Choffel - Golden Fires
Suzanna Choffel - Race Car - Balcony TV
Suzanna Choffel - Guardians - Balcony TV
Suzanna Choffel biography :
"I don't mind being hard to find/I don't care if I'm out there." - Suzanna Choffel, "Race Car"
Suzanna Choffel is many things: a rising star, an undeniable musical force and a unique voice (a "honeyed husk," as it's been posited) who feels equally at home singing in a dimly-lit, smoky club as she does front and center in front of (literally) millions.
So, lyrical protestations aside, Choffel is no hidden gem. She's already making her mark.
Granted, she's hard to pin down. Consider her critical praise - she's "Feist meets Erykah Badu with a hint of Tex-Mex seasoning." She's "equal parts Beat poetry, smoky soul grooves and indie-pop eccentricity." She's "graceful" and yet, as Rolling Stone asserts, possessing "all the vibe in the world."
Easy to love, difficult to define: credit Choffel's restless creative spirit. And also credit the Texas native's musical upbringing. From birth, there were already hints of future prowess: the singer's given name was inspired by her mother's love of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne." At an early age, the budding star had already taken up piano, saxophone and guitar; she even composed her own songs on a keyboard and recorded them into a karaoke machine.
And then there were the times she'd simply sit with her mom and listen to records. "Motown: that music affected me early on," she remembers. "I loved Stevie Wonder. But I was also listening to people like John Denver, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell." She laughs. "You know, bittersweet folk music."
Choffel's family and culture were deeply embedded in her music. Partially of Mexican descent, even her earliest work reflected the distinct flavors and rhythms of Tejano music (and why, to this day, you may hear her occasionally sing in Spanish).
After her parents' divorce, the young Choffel moved to South Austin. There, at the age of 12, she had a musical epiphany. "In Austin I was exposed to live music in a new sense," she says. "Before that, I thought you had to be an uber famous rock god or pop star...in Austin, I found this other path." Which is why, as a teenager, you could usually find Choffel performing in clubs around town, belting out Bonnie Raitt and Bessie Smith blues jams at venues like Babe's on Sixth Street.
Her musical endeavors followed her to college, where she sang for roots-rock bands and a hip-hop/jazz project. During her time at the College of Santa Fe, she met an unlikely collaborator: Ben Haggerty, a.k.a. platinum hip-hop star Macklemore. "In hindsight, it's really funny," says Choffel, whose own hip-hop interests at the time included acts like A Tribe Called Quest and Mos Def. "I would do these slam poetry events on a bandshell in a big common area, and he would come down and rap with us.
Once Choffel returned to Austin, she began to focus on her own recordings, developing a unique sound that mixed elements of all her musical passions, including R&B, reggae, pop, and jazz. Her first album, Shudders & Rings, won accolades ("The Next Fun Fearless Female Rock Star" crowed the Austin Chronicle) and more than a few local and indie music awards.
But it was her live show where people really took notice. No matter the venue, hers was always an intimate affair, one the Austin Chronicle rightly captured: "The graceful confidence of her music," they noted, "allows Choffel to make every performance feel as if it's late night and she's in a South Austin living room grooving for the pleasure of it."
Headline performances at SXSW and Austin City Limits led to even more festival appearances at CMJ and Voodoo Experience. Choffel's music appeared in commercials and in film, including one track during a pivotal moment of the indie hit Catfish (a surprise even to her).
Always up for the unexpected, Choffel auditioned for and landed a spot on NBC's popular primetime singing competition The Voice in 2012, wowing the judges with her renditions of Fleetwood Mac and Bob Marley, and earning singular praise from Rolling Stone as "the only artist you'd want to listen to a complete album from."
Cue the evocative and musically expansive Archer, combining Choffel's depth of songwriting with an array of musical talent, from special guests Big Sam's Funky Nation to pianist Davíd Garza, to producer/musician Danny Reisch (White Denim, Okkervil River). The album balances heady introspection against lush textures and bounding rhythm: from the string-laden, reggae-infused "Race Car" and the percussive, provocative title track, "Archer," to the sultry groove of "Animal" and soulful, syncopated sound of "Raincloud," graced with real New Orleans funk by Big Sam Williams on trombone and Da Phessah Drew Baham on trumpet. A lover by turns cool in "Hot Shot," fiery and impassioned in "Hold Of The Night," and paradoxical in "Stumble," Choffel's soul is palpable throughout.
The album closes with "Golden Fires"--a plaintive, slow-burning ode that strikes a universal chord, inspired by her recent move to New York City. "I got this real creative energy moving here," she says, acknowledging her unpredictable path and ever-evolving story. "I certainly don't want to stay in one place," adding, "I find it more interesting to always step into other shoes."
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