2012 was a very good year for Austin native Suzanna Choffel. Her performance of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Landslide” on the third season of NBC-TV’s wildly popular The Voice landed her a place on Blake Shelton’s team. And with it came an outpouring of praise from fans and media from all around the world. Rolling Stone called her “the most intriguing” contestant on the show.
Earlier in the year her song, “Stumble,” was selected in the Top 3 in the Performance category by The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) marking the second time that Suzanna has won an ISC Award. In 2008, her song, “Hey Mister” caputured First Place honors in the Triple A category.
Ms. Choffel first gained national attention when she became the unwitting subject of the controversial docu-drama, Catfish. Choffel appears in the film peforming via a YouTube clip of her performance of the Doc Watson classic, “Tennessee Stud.”
“Stumble,” with its chill out production reminiscent of 90’s trip hop can be heard on Choffel’s most recent album, Steady Eye Shaky Bow, which received high praise in her home state of Texas. The Austin American Statesman called it a “record of shimmering soul,” and the Austin Chronicle declared it “sultry and soulful, bubbling with sizzling eclectic pop.” The album also features the regional
hit, “Raincloud,” a song infused with the flavor of New Orleans with backing by Big Sam’s Funky Nation — its video has been viewed on YouTube more than half a million times.
Produced by Danny Reisch, Steady Eye Shaky Bow consists of 10 elegant tracks, each an intricate, lush blend of catchiness and depth that Suzanna likes to call indie-soul-pop. It’s as fitting a term as any to
describe the blue-eyed charmer’s dusky vocal delivery.
Influenced by women as diverse as Erykah Badu and Edie Brickell, with echoes of Feist and even a little Dusty, Suzanna writes upbeat melodies but wraps them around fearless examinations of the
emotional complexities inherent in relationships. Some of these melodies carry delightful reminders of what’s come before: a little girl-group reference here, a little Stax or Motown flavoring there.
Petula Clark and Lulu would be at home next to Suzanna. But there’s an earthiness, too: a sprinkle of what Choffel calls “a dark grit,” blues-colored, to be exact. And though her subject matter might
reflect uncertainty, the confidence in her voice is unmistakable.
2013 has already taken Choffel to Los Angeles to perform with Emile Sandé & Skylar Grey at the Myspace/ChapStick Series and all over the Northeast playing shows with Wakey!Wakey!. Choffel is set to record her third album mid-year.