Susie Suh

Los Angeles, California

Susie Suh’s eponymous collection is the debut of a twenty-five-year-old who grew up performing Korean folk songs on local TV with a children’s choir in her native Los Angeles. At age thirteen, she moved east to attend Exeter, then (after a year at NYU) finished a degree in English at Brown. Her album appears not on one of the countless indie labels that mainly supply pop music with uncliched new artists right now, but on an old-line New York major, Epic, and was produced not by some brilliant flip-flopped school chum of Suh’s, but by Glen Ballard, as enormous a Los Angeles pop producer as exists, a multiplatinum dude who brought us Alanis Morissette. But the record doesn’t sound like recently matured youth showbiz or expensively educated singer-songwriterdom or record-biz money or even the Hollywood rock players Ballard casts on the predominantly acoustic tracks; the record sounds like 2005’s least preordained music.

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—James Hunter

James Hunter writes about music and books. His work has appeared in GQ, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, and other magazines and newspapers.

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