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Suzanne Santo of HONEYHONEY with Thin Lear
Suzanne Santo of HONEYHONEY
Some know Suzanne Santo as one half of the critically acclaimed roots duo HoneyHoney; others know her from stints performing with the likes of Hozier and Butch Walker. Take a listen to Santo’s mesmerizing new single, “Fall For That,” though, and it’s clear the world will soon know her for the electrifying songwriter and frontwoman that she is. Recorded with Grammy-winning producer/engineer John Spiker (Beck, Steve Earle) and featuring a blistering guitar solo from Gary Clark, Jr., “Fall For That” is a visceral reckoning with our conflicting desires for connection and solitude, inclusion and isolation, chaos and calm. Santo sings with a snarl on the track, her bluesy wail paired with a gritty, oscillating guitar line that seems to inhale and exhale of its own volition, rising and falling in slow, steady rhythm like the chest of some sleeping beast. At once fierce and meditative, the song is a message to herself as much as any outside audience, an anthem of fear and determination delivered by a woman who’s seen enough of each to know which side wins in the end.
“I’ve had projects blow up in my face and labels break my heart over the years, and I wasn’t about to let that happen again,” says Santo, who’s releasing the single independently via her own Soozanto Records imprint. “It can be scary to go it alone, but I’ve found so much strength and freedom in carving my own path.”
Born in Ohio, Santo first came to fame after moving to Los Angeles, where the profoundly gifted fiddle/guitar/banjo player and singer launched HoneyHoney with songwriting partner Ben Jaffe. Over the course of three critically acclaimed albums, the duo earned dates with Sheryl Crow, Jake Bugg, JD McPherson, Ryan Bingham, and Trampled By Turtles among others, racked up millions of streams on Spotify, and landed soundtrack slots on Showtime, ABC, TBS, and more. NPR’s Mountain Stage lauded the “soul-stomping outfit’s brand of West Coast country-rock with a Southern soul,” while Rolling Stone described Santo’s voice as “as smooth and murky as smoked glass,” and KCRW hailed her “expert banjo playing.” Santo branched out on her own in 2017, recording her solo debut, ‘Ruby Red,’ with multi-platinum producer Butch Walker, who invited her to join his band and support him on tour. The record received a rapturous response, with LA Weekly praising its “dark poetry and Southern Gothic” atmosphere and Paste dubbing it “a smart blend of moody pop and alternative Americana,” and the following year, Santo hit the road supporting Hozier, performing her own solo sets before playing guitar and fiddle and singing backup in the Irish star’s band. “Fall For That” previews a forthcoming full-length due out later this year.