About Susan James:
Susan James, a California native, embarked on her musical journey at the tender age of 8 when she first picked up a guitar and let her crystalline voice soar. Fast forward to today, and Susan stands tall with 16 years of experience in the indie music scene, leaving an indelible mark through her melodies and captivating songwriting.
A curious scholar at heart, Susan's passion for music led her to UCLA, where she not only received a degree in music but also earned a scholarship for her dedication to the art, with a particular focus on Ethnomusicology. It was during these academic pursuits that Susan's love for songwriting blossomed, and she couldn't resist the urge to share her creations with the world.
Live performances and studio recording became Susan's canvas, local and international venues her stage, and her music resonated not just locally but echoed across the US, Canada, and Europe.
With six albums already under her belt and the seventh eagerly anticipated this year, Susan James is a force to be reckoned with in the indie music scene. Her discography tells a story of growth, experimentation, and a commitment to musical authenticity that has garnered both critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase.
Susan's musical journey has been marked by noteworthy collaborations and performances alongside icons in the industry. From supporting spots with Son Volt, Rufus Wainright, Billy Bragg, Richard Thompson, the late David Lindley, Daniel Lanois and most recently Stereolab, to touring in support of Lindsey Buckingham, Bob Weir, and Richard Buckner to name a few, Susan's experiences have shaped her artistry and forged lasting connections in the industry.
Not just content with creating her own albums, Susan's music has been licensed for TV and independent film soundtracks. She's lent her voice and musical prowess to friends' albums, including The High Llamas and the late Mary Hansen of Stereolab.
In 2015, Susan's sixth album, "Sea Glass," became a standout moment in her career, receiving both critical acclaim and public adoration. The album, later re-released in 2019 on vinyl via Sunstone Records UK, showcased Susan's unique soundscapes, enriched by her collaboration with Sean O’Hagan of The High Llamas.
As she gears up for her seventh album, "Time Is Now," set to be released in June 2024, Susan James continues to push boundaries and captivate audiences. The title single, slated for release in March 2024, offers a tantalizing glimpse into the musical journey that lies ahead.
In March 2024, Susan will be joining Laeticia Sadier on select dates, adding another chapter to her rich tapestry of live performances.
“Susan James’ Sea Glass is the real California sound, an all-embracing kind of music that breaks rules, hears new textures, sees new shapes and roams new harmonic and melodic terrains. Dig a bit and you’ll find that it’s not a stretch to say it’s as much a California classic music as the disparate strains of Terry Riley, Harry Partch, The Beach Boys and Captain Beefheart. It’s all about musical freedom –– and doing something genuinely new” - LA Weekly
“How an album as classy as Sea Glass could quietly pop its head above the parapet, wave, charm the pants off a lucky few (including us at Shindig!), then vanish again is one of the mysteries of our time. Records this good don’t come along often, an opinion clearly shared by Sunstone, the UK label that’s taken James’ 2015 long-player, remastered it, tweaked the artwork, and pressed it upon aquamarine vinyl, where it always belonged..it’s a lush, immaculately performed selection of songs..” - Shindig!
“James' long blond hair and folk-based songs have caused her to be compared to Joni Mitchell. The inventiveness of her eight-song set, however, showed that James is perhaps most like Mitchell because she is like no one else.” -Noel Davis, Los Angeles Times