After logging a decade as the fiddle-playing frontwoman of HoneyHoney, Suzanne Santo is branching out, adding a solo album — this summer’s Ruby Red — to an already celebrated career. The new record marks an expansion of her Americana roots, with Southern-gothic soul and dusky, driving pop-fueled songs like “Ghost in my Bed.”
Produced by Butch Walker in his SoCal studio, “Ghost in my Bed” barrels forward at highway speed, folding mandolin, fiddle and keyboards into a nocturnal track about waging war with — and, ultimately, losing ground to — one’s darker side. Walker, who first collaborated with Santo on his own album, Stay Gold, can be heard singing harmony during the explosive chorus, but this is still the Santo show, punctuated by an elastic, electrifying vocal performance that shows off her range and power.
“The common thread of the songs on this record has to do with accountability,” says Santo, now back in Los Angeles after logging several years in Nashville. “‘Ghost in My Bed’ is an example of that, and how sometimes we are, in fact, ghosts that haunt us. Writing this record reinstalled my responsibility to keep pushing forward, learning and growing and challenging the art in the way that serves it best.” (Listen to the song below.)
Walker, whose studio gives the album its name, agrees, adding, “This record is so fucking sexy, I can’t deal. Proud to have been in the room when these songs were going down. Put it on and turn out the lights.”
Ruby Red will be released August 11th. Here are Santo’s upcoming tour dates:
August 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
August 23 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
September 21 – Tahlequah, OK @ Medicine Stone Festival