If you’ve been following my work on this site, then you probably recognize Suzanne. Her Underwater EP was one of my earliest reviews and a 2019 favorite — so, of course I had to give her latest work a listen.
The Distance Between You and Me is a five-song EP, with one of those tracks (“Can’t Hang”) having been released earlier in the year. In a bit of a turn from her previous work, Suzanne utilizes more acoustic sounds in The Distance Between You and Me, especially in the beginnings of her tracks. Many of them are piano-driven ballads which lead into Suzanne’s signature heavy electronic beats, with truly seamless transitions between acoustic and electronic sounds.
I placed heavy emphasis last time around on Suzanne’s lyrics, and since she uploaded some lyric videos this time around I’ve been paying even closer attention to her language. Where Underwater explored the stages of heartbreak and the devastation and helplessness that comes with it, tracks on the new EP like “Do Not Fear Heartbreak” and “Standing On My Own” feel almost like direct responses to that past self.
However, as a whole, the EP feels like an exploration not of heartbreak but of a relationship as a whole — preparing one’s self for the positive or negative outcomes and confronting your own issues along the way, learning to be unafraid.
The EP starts with “We Are All Made of Dust,” a track which has a lyric video and which I think exemplifies many of the shifts in Suzanne’s musical styles. It opens with a guitar riff and subtle synth reverberating underneath. Suzanne sings about the insecurities and doubts that hold her back, wondering if everyone else feels the same way as they go through life or if she’s the only one. The chorus slows down, giving her questions an even more wanting, desperate edge, the same one recurring:
“Or is it just me?”
Overall, it’s a beautiful song, with a message that I think we can all relate to; it’s a reminder that we’re all human, and we all have struggles, even if we feel alone in them.
“The Line Between Us” begins with a lone piano with slight reverb, the most ballad-like song on the EP. The song seems to lay out the expectations for a relationship — or, rather, the lack thereof — or the preset boundaries we set when we enter a situation to avoid getting hurt.
I already drew it
the line between us.
If you take a step closer,
I’ll take a step back.
The song is short, but aching. Giving one’s self over fully in love is frightening, and so sometimes we set boundaries ahead of time; we keep people at a distance to protect ourselves.
The next track, “Can’t Hang,” was actually released about six months ago. It’s arguably the stand-out track, using staccato wind instruments and heavy bass lines. Lyrically, it’s a return to insecurities, but in this case is a bit more dogged and almost antagonistic.
Aren’t you tired of me yet?
Suzanne navigates between her head voice and even some gravelly low tones, giving the whole song a sense of being a push-and-pull — wanting to be with someone, but not feeling as if you can be understood, or you have too much going on inside to be truly present. In any case, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable track that shows a different side of Suzanne that I think many people will enjoy.
“Standing On My Own” sees a return to a ballad style, and although the piano at first seems melancholy, the track swells into a song about the power of self-love and self-confidence. Once the synth enters the track, even Suzanne’s vocals seem to gain more depth, the track gaining weight and strength. The chorus says it all,
I’m standing on my own
Feeling lil alone
But it’s okay, I have grown
Won’t be in the danger zone now.
And then, finally, we reach “Do Not Fear Heartbreak,” which is easily my favorite song on the EP. There’s just something about it that I really love, the softness of it. The acoustic guitar paired with some airy synths make for an overall uplifting sound. The track feels and sounds like the comforting reminder that it is. Sometimes, with love comes heartbreak. And it’s just as important to our growth and our understanding of love. Even though it may hurt, don’t be afraid to take a chance, and let yourself love.
Let go your fear
let it leave.
Let it happen, let it be.
Do not fear heartbreak,
let it be.
Let it happen, let it break you.
Suzanne’s EP’s always seem to tell a story. I could argue the same about each song individually, more so than I already have, honestly. I think The Distance Between You And Me is an emotionally-aware look at the phases of a relationship with one’s self. Although some tracks explore interpersonal relationships, the focus is primarily on confronting yourself, your problems, and learning to accept and love yourself even as a flawed person. Then, you can truly bloom into the you you deserve to be.
I honestly think Suzanne has outdone herself this time around. Although I will always love her first EP, this one shows her growth as an artist and only adds to her appeal — and I wouldn’t be surprised if this shows up on my 2020 list!