Suzanna Choffel
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Suzanna Choffel

Austin, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | MAJOR

Austin, TX | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Folk Adult Contemporary

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May
19
Suzanna Choffel @ Luna

San Antonio, Texas, United States

San Antonio, Texas, United States

May
13
Suzanna Choffel @ McGonigel's Mucky Duck

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States

May
12
Suzanna Choffel @ 3Ten Austin City Limits Live

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Music

Press


It’s an unusually cool evening in late August, and the sun has just set beyond the Shady Grove on Barton Springs Road. The afternoon showers have evaporated and an eager crowd has gathered beneath the giant Pecan Grove for an intimate performance by Austin’s own Suzanna Choffel.

Shortly after 8:00PM, on Aug. 20, the patient crowd is rewarded when Choffel’s soulful, smoky-flavored voice pours out across the branches of Shady Grove. Her voice has been described by Rolling Stone as a “honeyed husk,” and her eccentric style is almost impossible to categorize. Choffel is a blend of indie-pop, folk, reggae and soul that can only be defined as simply “Suzanna.” Her range and command on hit tracks such as “Since Friday Night” and “Raincloud” display a true mastery of her craft that very few vocalists can match. However, Choffel is much more than a vocalist. She is a harmonious Renaissance women capable of creating magic with nearly any instrument she gets her hands around.

An industry veteran of over two decades, Choffel said she feels at home in front of any crowd that can appreciate music and creativity. Her career began at a young age performing iconic venues such as the Saxon Pub and the Continental Club. As a teenager gigging in Austin, widely regarded as the Live Music Capital, Choffel had an epiphany that changed the trajectory of her career path.

“I saw more of the day-to-day live musician [and realized] you can do this on so many levels and still reach a ton of people.” At the time, Choffel’s ideas about music were starting to change. “I knew I wasn’t wanting to do straight-up pop, R&B, extremely marketable Top 40 stuff,” she said.

She began experimenting with different styles and fusing them together to create her unique and unconventional sound. Choffel became a household name in 2012 when she competed on The Voice and rocked the nation with a moving rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” She is very grateful for her time on The Voice and credits the show for leading to another musical epiphany.

“Creatively, it helped me realize that I want to do what I want to do. I left the show really driven and motivated to keep creating my own music,” she said.

She believes there is a niche and a spot in the industry for everybody. “You can be all of the in-betweens and still have an audience that shows up for you,” she said. Choffel has established a global fan base and her free spirited creativity has taken her from Austin to New York and Europe. “France reminded me of Austin. The people are such good listeners. They’re very attentive and very appreciative of live music, which I feel about Austin, too.”

On her most recent trip to France, Choffel was accompanied by a very special guest. This past March, the musician acquired her newest band member by giving birth to a baby girl, Luisa “Lulu.” Choffel shines with the radiance of a first-time mother and claims, “creatively, it has given me a new buzz. It shifts your whole psychological perspective. It opened up all of these different creative things in me that may have been stifled or maybe I was holding back. There’s this fuel that goes into wanting to make your kid proud.”

After spending the past two years with a New York address, Choffel has returned to Austin to raise her daughter and continue creating music. She has teamed up with Producer David Boyle and the two have been hard at work on her fourth LP. Recorded at Church House Studios in East Austin, Choffel claims her upcoming project will be her most “Suzanna” album yet. “I wanted it to be as pure as possible and…to sound like me.”

Unlike previous albums, Shudders & Rings and Archer, Choffel didn’t have all of the songs completely in mind when she went in to record. She brought several new players on board and much of her new album is a collaboration pieced together while in the studio. “It allowed me to be really in the moment.” The result is a more organic album that sounds like “Suzanna.” She teases, “I don’t think this album will even have a name. I think it’s just going to be the eponymous Suzanna Choffel.”

Staying true is very important to Choffel, and she refuses to be put in a box. Her style is constantly evolving as she continues to bring new and diverse elements to her sound. She enjoys being an artist on the outskirts of the industry. She claims, “I might not be that perfect Top 40 artist. I really want to focus on what I do and wherever that takes me I’m totally fine with.” Her growing fan base is just fine with that, too. - Austin Fusion Magazine


Aussi platinée que platonicienne, Suzanna Choffel est blonde. Elle annonce en douzième position une chanson « inspirée de Platon et des gardiens », gardiens du temple, du troupeau ou du cœur. Quelque chose comme ça. Au rappel, elle aura chanté vingt chansons. Dont une reprise de Caetano Veloso, O Leãozinho. Le reste est de sa main. Quand elle chante Raincloud, il tombe trois gouttes. Qu’elle lance Race Car, on entend des bruits de moteur dans les lointains d’Hauterives. Elle en rit.
Auréolée d’un beau parcours pour « The Voice », version américaine, Elle a vécu à New York, mais est revenue à Austin, Texas, où elle est née en 1980. Elle décline son nouvel album, s’accompagne à la Gibson jouée sans médiator, avec plein de doigts. Un excellent trio hexagonal (Jerry Lipkins aux claviers) fortifie l’ensemble. Elle a de l’abattage, passe son temps – bien de son temps en cela – à nouer et dénouer ses cheveux.
Sa mère aimait Leonard Cohen, l’auteur de Suzanne : la jeune fille s’appelle Suzanna. Si la mère avait aimé Fernandel, elle se serait appelée Félicie. A la cinquième chanson, avec un ensemble nettement plus swinguant qu’au moment de claper des mains, le public enfile une petite laine. A la septième, l’étoile du Berger pointe son nez. Elle, elle aimerait que ça bouge, que ça chante, mettre le feu et faire danser les bougalous.

Une voix de rocaille
21 h 49 pile : un avion à hélice traverse lentement le ciel, ce qui crée toujours une petite émotion. Dix-sept minutes plus tard, un corbeau spirituel croasse vertement, Suzanna le salue : « I agree… » Outre ce très sympathique côté de star en devenir, outre sa voix de rocaille très prisée par les temps qui courent, ce qui surprend, c’est le côté carré de ses compositions – « jazzy », disent, peu regardants, les dossiers de presse ; country ska, oui, ça, c’est vérifiable.
La reprise de Caetano situe les faits : elle l’aime, elle aime la chanson, elle dit joliment le brésilien, mais elle corsète la grâce de Caetano dans son ska country à elle.
On espère que les images de son récital, très fêté à la fin, lui serviront de clip. Parce que le décor des Concerts du Palais idéal, menés tambour battant par Marie-José Georges, à Hauterives (voir Le Monde du 27 juin 2010), c’est le mirobolant Palais idéal du Facteur Cheval, cette projection hologrammatique de l’inconscient d’un facteur, Ferdinand Cheval (1836-1924) – 30 kilomètres de tournée par jour. Le palais de ses songes patiemment assemblé pierre à pierre, ramenées une à une dans sa précieuse brouette. Cheval, uniquement préoccupé par la tâche à accomplir et le but à atteindre. Art brut, naïf, primitif ? Pas le moins du monde : chef-d’œuvre absolu qu’il n’est peut-être pas nécessaire d’éclairer de mauve ou de fuchsia, la nuit venue. Vision de l’avenir, organisation rationnelle des formes spontanées cueillies dans la nature, ses précieux galets qu’il savait voir.
Suzanna ne manque pas de noter qu’à son oreille à elle, il y a une amusante proximité entre Cheval et Choffel. A la dix-neuvième chanson, on sent bien que là derrière, les trois géants de Ferdinand ont des fourmis dans les galets. Mais ils se tiennent à carreau pour ne pas filer le blues au divin facteur.

En savoir plus sur http://www.lemonde.fr/musiques/article/2015/06/19/suzanna-choffel-la-blonde-platonicienne_4657706_1654986.html#IAEeZrZEJ4JYHoji.99 - Le Monde


What's a music teacher from Austin to do after scoring a million hits on YouTube with a beautiful cover of 'Landslide' on NBC's 'The Voice'? Move to Brooklyn and become our borough's (not so) best kept secret.

Suzanna Choffel has huge chops, (despite her diminutive stature), and those pipes usually mean business. Tracks like 'Race Car' and 'Hot Shot' from her just -released LP 'Archer' bring home a confident medley of her country and soul roots, to a broken heart constantly challenged to do her thing her own way. Think Dusty Springfield... with a little more grit. Check out beautiful DIY video of "Golden Fires" below. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets) - The Deli


“Not just another singer-songwriter, Suzanna Choffel is sexy and smart. Her band's mix of pop, soul, be-bop and adult themes creates a vision that is unique, thoroughly refreshing and worthy of national attention.” - Austin Chronicle - music critic Jim Caligiuri


"Choffel was one of the only singers on anyone's team this season who had the sort of voice you'd want to listen to for an entire album".

"the most intriguing contestant on the show" - Rolling Stone - Jessica Hopper


"Hard-to-pigeonhole singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen in Austin, but Choffel, a big winner at the local music awards Wednesday, impressed me more than any I've heard here with a unique sound equal parts Beat poetry, smoky soul grooves and indie-pop eccentricity. Think Feist meets Erykah Badu..." - Jim DeRogatis - music critic (Chicago Sun-Times, NPR Sound Opinions)


At the forefront of Austin's rising female stars, Suzanna Choffel evolves into a force on her follow-up to 2006's debut, Shudders & Rings. The aptly titled Steady Eye Shaky Bow both smokes with a defiance and trembles with jazz-pop sheen, Choffel drifting between coy and brazen. Accenting her stunning vocals, however, are full arrangements that wind dramatically through opener "Archer", dance affectionately on "So the Story Goes" and aggressively hollow out on the meticulous "Stumble", leaving Choffel consuming a powerful sound that falls between Feist, Madeleine Peyroux and Ani Difranco. Mesmerizing and powerful, Choffel's sophomore effort leaves her poised for breakout success. - Doug Freeman - Texas Music Magazine


Don't let the title fool you, there's nothing unsure about anything in Steady Eye Shaky Bow. Suzanna Choffel's sophomore release and her first full-length since 2006's Shudders & Rings shoots for the sky from the opening track "Archer" on her exuberant sound. By turns sultry and soulful, bubbling with her sizzling brand of eclectic indie pop ("Hot Shot," "Racecar," "So the Story Goes"), Steady Eye also comes with a secret weapon. Most artists pray their second disc brings back the audience from the first, but Choffel comes armed with a fresh arrangement of "Raincloud," the captivating composition most likely to catapult her into the next stage (if "Animal" doesn't). A class act born and raised here in Austin, Choffel's imprinted with pure confidence matched by the luminous production by Danny Reisch, local producer of the year who gave the Bright Light Social Hour such fine mojo. Here's to Choffel's second act! - Austin Chronicle


Don't let the title fool you, there's nothing unsure about anything in Steady Eye Shaky Bow. Suzanna Choffel's sophomore release and her first full-length since 2006's Shudders & Rings shoots for the sky from the opening track "Archer" on her exuberant sound. By turns sultry and soulful, bubbling with her sizzling brand of eclectic indie pop ("Hot Shot," "Racecar," "So the Story Goes"), Steady Eye also comes with a secret weapon. Most artists pray their second disc brings back the audience from the first, but Choffel comes armed with a fresh arrangement of "Raincloud," the captivating composition most likely to catapult her into the next stage (if "Animal" doesn't). A class act born and raised here in Austin, Choffel's imprinted with pure confidence matched by the luminous production by Danny Reisch, local producer of the year who gave the Bright Light Social Hour such fine mojo. Here's to Choffel's second act! - Austin Chronicle


What if Nelly Furtado recorded jazzy pop instead of club music, Adele learned how to write more than three types of songs, and Zero 7 weren't so damn boring? Suzanna Choffel, an Austin-based guitar and voice teacher, takes the potential of other artists rooted in R&B, pop, and moody electronica, and actually fulfills it. Her eclectic sophomore release traffics in blue-eyed soul viewed through an indie-rock lens. New Orleans-flavored lead single "Raincloud" showcases Choffel as a smoldering, sassy vocal gymnast, but it's the fair-skinned funk of "Stumble" that should be Steady's calling card. The track buries Choffel's scatty voice slightly, allowing her stellar band to pepper in springing guitars, ominous vibes, shivering pianos, and one of the phattest beats in Texas this year. Other highlights include the macabre soul of opener "Archer" and the bare balladry of closer "Come Clean." The latter implies a coming bombastic climax when Choffel sings nakedly in the song's quietist moment, but she puts the track to bed with a final chorus and a high note on the piano instead. Steady's seamless melding of genres, quality songwriting, and unparalleled musicianship should serve as a warning to musicians of higher sales but lower caliber: All you need is time and talent. - San Antonio Current


Suzanna Choffel has put together a solid combination of pop, soul, and jazz on her new record Steady Eye Shaky Bow. The Austin native uses her strong voice and unique song writing to produce a nice mix of pop soul and jazz. Choffel barely has to try. Her smokey voice lays down comfortably over every song on the album and her complicated intertwined word play flows beautifully with her accompanying music. It is a good album.
On the opening track, “Archer”, Choffel and her band explore a dizzying jazz sound with multiple time and tempo changes. The song starts with disjointed piano and guitar which are quickly herded by the drums and set into motion. Choffel’s voice tackles the ever moving track with ease. When tempos change, she pounces on top of them like a lion cub playing with her prey. Though she sings about the upsetting departure of an unaware lover, she seems strong. She is always in complete control.
The albums standout track is “Raincloud”, a dixieland jazz tune about a girl and her constant sadness. This song is almost impossible not to tap your foot to. Choffel employs one of New Orleans best jazz bands, Big Sams Funky Nation, to help out. With snappy synth and an exploding horn section, the song embodys new Dixieland. Somehow Choffel takes this hundred year old sound and makes it her own. The trombone screams, the drum taps away, the synthesizer dances, but most of all Choffel makes all of these elements secondary with her voice. Her words of secrets and rain coat the track with a smooth consistency. This is her song. She uses the music to get you dancing, and half way through the song you realize you are singing along. You barely notice the awesome trombone work accompanying her.
As the album continues, it just gets more comfortable like sinking into a big old leather chair. The songs calm down and become easier to keep up with. The first couple of tracks are constantly shifting and moving. The album then becomes remove extra word more natural and lets Choffel’s lyrics and whiskey coated voice take over. The influence of Stax Records and Motown are undeniable. The smooth guitar stays subtle. The drums whisper and let the rest of the band take over. It is on these songs that Choffel hits her stride. It is clear that Choffel’s blue soul is stronger than her pop voice. Tracks like “Animal” and “Hot Shot” are flowing and almost peaceful. Choffel’s metaphors are well played and consistent. People are animals, love is a game. She really knows what she is doing.
Choffel is a hell of a song writer. Steady Eye Shaky Bow makes this very clear. This is good music for a lady in a convertible. It would be great for driving around with the top down on a beautiful spring day. It is good music to tell yourself you don’t need your ex-boyfriend. If I were a thirty year old nurse, I think this would be my favorite album of the year. Choffel’s voice and lyrics are powerful. Listening to her makes you feel empowered. She conveys charisma and charm in every verse. This album is damn near impossible not to like. - Awaiting the Flood


"Choffel is Austin's first YouTube superstar. Check out the video and wonder how many record deals are coming her way." - Austin American-Statesman: music critic Michael Corcoran


"All the attention hasn't gone to Suzanna Choffel's head, which has to be difficult, because it easily could.
Thanks to YouTube, people around the world started figuring out what people in Austin already knew - the bubbly Choffel seems to have "it".
"She has that star quality about her", says Margaret Moser, the queen of Austin music writers. "You just look at someone like her performing and, yeah... that's what it is. It's her intelligence and her spriteliness that's so charming."

www.austinmonthly.com - Austin Monthly (Music Issue - March 2009)


FameCast industry expert and veteran music journalist Steve Hochman (Los Angeles Times, AOL Spinner.com) said of her performances, “Suzanna’s band has a really distinctive and attractive sound. Most importantly, here's a strong song and performer, sassy and saucy. Suzanna's learned from some of the greats about phrasing, playing around with delivery and beat, singing the emotions and the words rather than merely the melody. She slots nicely alongside Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux and Fiona Apple.” - Famecast.com - Steve Hochman


"Austin-born Suzanna Choffel calls her slippery style "urban folk", and that's not a bad summation of the well-crafted compositions on her debut CD, Shudders & Rings. It's also worth noting that Choffel is schooled in music and that her ease in performing and writing comes from early exposure through the Grammy in the Schools program, not to mention playing in kid bands when she was young. It sounds cliche to say "watch this one", but don't say you weren't warned."

- Austin Chronicle - Margaret Moser


"As a contender for the Cosmopolitan StarLaunch contest and the winner of two online competitions, including FameCast; a featured artist on two compilations who tours nonstop playing private parties and concerts; and a CMJ showcaser with loads of critical praise for her CD and invitations left and right to collaborate, not to mention one of the hottest videos on YouTube, Choffel arguably has the hottest name out of Austin at the moment. It's more than enough to serve notice that she's, quite literally, moving from the small stage to the big one."
http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A707041
- Austin Chronicle cover story - Margaret Moser


"Successful musicians can be defined by a pair of nearly immutable axioms. The first requirement states that sustained success requires a constant drive toward progressive change. The second states that the best musicians are those who can remain true to an authentic artistic vision. Suzanna Choffel is one musician who, upon even a glance, seems poised to propel into arenas of expression and exposure extending far beyond the limits of her central Texas home. With an insistence on authenticity and following a work ethic that borders on obsessive, Choffel can expect the future to yield very sweet fruits indeed." www.austinme.com - Austin Music+Entertainment cover story - Erich Pelletier


"As a contender for the Cosmopolitan StarLaunch contest and the winner of two online competitions, including FameCast; a featured artist on two compilations who tours nonstop playing private parties and concerts; and a CMJ showcaser with loads of critical praise for her CD and invitations left and right to collaborate, not to mention one of the hottest videos on YouTube, Choffel arguably has the hottest name out of Austin at the moment. It's more than enough to serve notice that she's, quite literally, moving from the small stage to the big one."
http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A707041
- Austin Chronicle cover story - Margaret Moser


Suzanna Choffel Shares Her Soulful Sound with Austin

"Suzanna Choffel has been here, there and everywhere in her hometown music scene of Austin, TX. The soulful pop singer-songwriter fronts her own band, which includes some of Austin's finest musicians. She's also been getting tons of buzz around her performances and "Raincloud," her impossibly catchy single... "

http://delllounge.com/blogs/featuredartists/archive/2009/02/06/artist-interview-suzanna-choffel.aspx - DellLounge.com


Suzanna Choffel’s voice is the kind that lingers. It’s at once resonant and warm—powerful even as it pleads. Her pipes have served her well in her career—her sophomore album, 2012’s Steady Eye Shaky Bow, won Best Album at the Independent Music Awards—and on her forthcoming release, Hello Goodbye, it shines as she spans genres, letting her voice and her songwriting tell a story that veers from mournful to celebratory over the album’s eleven tracks.

“Go Forth,” which premieres exclusively below, is a steady beat of classic alt-rock, with vocal melodies soaring above rhythmic guitars, pulsing drums, and ringing piano chords in a style that might not sound out of place on an album from Sarah McLachlan or Aimee Mann. - Texas Monthly


Suzanna Choffel’s voice is the kind that lingers. It’s at once resonant and warm—powerful even as it pleads. Her pipes have served her well in her career—her sophomore album, 2012’s Steady Eye Shaky Bow, won Best Album at the Independent Music Awards—and on her forthcoming release, Hello Goodbye, it shines as she spans genres, letting her voice and her songwriting tell a story that veers from mournful to celebratory over the album’s eleven tracks.

“Go Forth,” which premieres exclusively below, is a steady beat of classic alt-rock, with vocal melodies soaring above rhythmic guitars, pulsing drums, and ringing piano chords in a style that might not sound out of place on an album from Sarah McLachlan or Aimee Mann. - Texas Monthly


Three full-lengths in, Austin native Suzanna Choffel continues mapping folk-pop variants, wavering between muted jazz influences and adult alternative radio hooks. Fourth LP Hello Goodbye traverses the disparate ends of that breadth, arriving as the most concrete evidence yet of the singer's strength through versatility. Vocally, Choffel glides effortlessly over the title track's contemporary doo-wop, interrupted only by a blues guitar solo adding heft to the sugary cut. Her gentle, always commanding soprano is equally entrancing on ghostly tracks such as "Go Forth" and "Continental Drift," bolstered by subtle vocal harmonies that fold into lush instrumentation with ease. She's equally convincing as an indie songstress on the driving "Follow," powered by electric organ and electric guitar dancing in tandem. Involuntary foot tapping defines Hello Goodbye at every point. Through all of the style jumps, Suzanna Choffel's no-frills vox never cede the spotlight, bridging genre and era and proving, once and for all, great voices are timeless.

*** - Austin Chronicle


Discography

Shudders & Rings (2006)
Archer (2013, Red Parlor Records)
Hello Goodbye (2017)

Photos

Bio

Having a sixth sense is something Pisces people take for granted. But March-born singer-songwriter Suzanna Choffel's latest album, "Hello Goodbye," contains one song that proved remarkably prescient even to her. When Choffel wrote "Go Forth," an inspirational ballad whose lyrics seemingly impart advice from a loving parent, she thought the only thing she was trying to hatch was the album. A week later, she learned she was pregnant with her first child.  Several of "Hello Goodbye's" songs could be associated with major events in Choffel's life. She's had many in the last few years, from appearing on season three of The Voice and moving from her Austin hometown to New York for three years, to earning a major grant from Black Fret, and performing before thousands of January 2017 Women's March participants at the Texas State Capitol. But just as that song predated knowledge of her pregnancy, many tracks on this album - an earthy, lush folk-funk mélange of blues, jazz, soul, dreamy electro-pop and her unique vocal colorings - predated those experiences, along with such events as a scary brush with mortality after leaving her baby for the first time to perform in France. (Fortunately, only possessions were lost when the chateau where she was staying burst into flames.) Ironically, those post-recording experiences serve as detailed illustrations of the album's central theme: How to reconcile the push-pull of opposing desires? For Choffel, that manifests as a struggle to balance the seemingly conflicting pursuits of family life and musical adventures. But swimming in opposite directions is what Pisceans do. Even the new album itself reflects that duality; its vinyl-oriented sequencing creates a distinct mood shift from side A to side B.  You'll just have to listen to find out more. For more information on Choffel's music, please see: www.suzannachoffel.com.

 PRESS


"All the vibe in the world." - Rolling Stone

"Equal parts Beat poetry, smoky soul grooves and indie-pop eccentricity. Think Feist meets Erykah Badu, with a hint of Tex-Mex seasoning." - Chicago Sun-Times


"Refreshingly unique." - Adam Levine

"A first-class singer, Choffel has the kind of voice that commands attention... And that smoky, soulful voice, mixed with indie-pop and jazz sensibilities, provides a beautiful vehicle for her words."  - San Antonio Express-News



Band Members