2012 was a very good year for Austin native and now New York City resident 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 performing via a YouTube clip of her performance of the Doc Watson classic, “Tennessee Stud.”
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.