Suzannah Johannes: Warm And Welcoming

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Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Horserider's Smile"
  • Artist: Suzannah Johannes
  • CD: Suzannah Johannes
  • Genre: Pop
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As incisive as Suzannah Johannes' words are, the real draw is the singer's husky, dark, inviting voice. Sara McManus hide caption

itoggle caption Sara McManus

The fertile music scene in Lawrence, Kan., has produced a lot of excellent but overlooked indie-rock bands in recent years, including White Flight, The Fairer Sex and Ghosty. Suzannah Johannes also hails from Lawrence, and when she opens "Horserider's Smile" with the words, "I know no one in this town / I have no friends still around," it's clear that frustration has set in. Still, Johannes' new self-titled EP — a sultry and richly melancholic collection of folk-pop tunes — provides a welcome introduction to the singer, as well as her supporting cast of talented locals.

As incisive as her words are, the real draw here is Johannes' inviting voice: It's husky and dark like that of Nico or even Beach House's Victoria Legrand. With every lingering, breathy phrase, Johannes projects a sense of loneliness and quiet reflection, while also exuding warm and unwavering confidence. With assistance from members of Ghosty and her own delicately plucked guitars, "Horserider's Smile" offers up an intimate, sun-dappled space for Johannes' voice to shine.

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