Suzanna Choffel only has two full-length albums to her credit, but she’s already become a household name around Austin. Her 2006 release, Shudders and Rings, was a more jazz-inflected record, with Choffel herself describing her sophomore effort, 2011’s Steady Eye, Shaky Bow as indie-soul-pop. She enlisted the services of unsung Texas producing hero Danny Reisch (who’s worked with White Denim and The Bright Light Social Hour among many others, garnering him an Austin Music Award for Producer of the Year) along with many standout local musicians to create the bluesy, smoky texture of the record.
But 2012 proved to be Choffel’s breakout year, even though she didn’t release a new record. The singer moved to New York and appeared as a contestant on The Voice, NBC’s hit singing competition. Judge Blake Shelton tapped her for his team, and she quickly developed a reputation for inspiring performances week after week. Rolling Stone even dubbed her “the most intriguing” contestant on the show due to her versatility–she’s able to switch between jazz, blues, soul, and pop with ease and skill.
Choffel did not ultimately win the competition, but she undoubtedly earned herself a national following. She’s hard at work on her third album, and she recently stopped by KUTX’s Studio 1A to play a few songs and chat about her momentous year. “It was definitely nerve-wracking,” Choffel said about singing on television. “I never get nervous before I play, and this show had me in butterflies before each performance.” The nerves weren’t apparent, though–either on The Voice or in Studio 1A, where Choffel and her band ripped through “Race Car,” off Steady Eye, Shaky Bow.