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Nowadays, voice memos, videos, and pictures chronicle our lives in real-time. We trace where we’ve been and reveal where we’re going. However, Suki Waterhouse catalogs the most intimate, formative, and significant moments of her life through songs. You might recognize her name or her work as singer, songwriter, actress but you’ll really get to know the multi-faceted artist through her music. Memories of unrequited love, fits of longing, instances of anxiety, and unfiltered snapshots interlock like puzzle pieces into a mosaic of well-worn country, ‘90s-style alternative, and unassuming pop.
She writes the kind of tunes meant to be grafted onto dusty old vinyl from your favorite vintage record store, yet perfect for a sun-soaked festival stage. Her first album for Sub Pop, I Can’t Let Go, is a testament to her powers as a singer and songwriter. In Suki’s words: “The album is called I Can’t Let Go because for years it felt like I was wearing heavy moments on my sleeve and it just didn’t make sense to do so anymore. There’s so much that I’ve never spoken about. Writing music has always been where it felt safe to do so. Every song for the record was a necessity. In many ways, I’ve been observing my life as an outsider, even when I’ve been on the inside. It’s like I was a visitor watching things happen.”
Growing up in London, Suki gravitated towards music’s magnetic pull. She listened to the likes of Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple, and Oasis held a special place in her heart. She initially teased out this facet of her creativity with a series of singles, generating nearly 20 million total streams independently.
Nylon hailed her debut track, “Brutally,” as “what a Lana Del Rey deep cut mixed with Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides, Now’ would sound like.” In addition to raves from Garage, Vice and Lemonade Magazine, DUJOR put it best: “Suki Waterhouse’s music has swagger.”
Suki is constantly consuming artists of all stripes, and, in the lead-up to making I Can’t Let Go, she was particularly drawn to the work of Sharon Van Etten, Valerie June, Garbage, Frazey Ford, Lou Doillon, and Lucinda Williams. After falling in love with Hiss Golden Messenger’s Terms of Surrender, she reached out to its producer Brad Cook (Bon Iver, War On Drugs, Snail Mail, Waxahatchee) to help define the sound of I Can’t Let Go.
On I Can’t Let Go, Suki not only catalogs her life up to this point, but she also fulfills a lifelong ambition. “When I’ve been stuck or feel out of touch with a sense of inner meaning and outer purpose, I’ve found both through searching my memories and finding those events buried in the shadowy areas of the psyche where they were ignored,” she says. “So many times of change in my life have required return visits—especially at the transitions through to the next stages. The album is an exploration of those moments when there is nothing left to lose. What is left and can’t be thrown away is the self.”
The Devil I Know
Put Me Through It
Bullshit On The Internet
On Your Thumb