Indie Focus: Susan showcases versatility on standout ‘Eros’ album

Susan’s 2021 EP, ‘EROS‘, explores five different kinds of love, one in each track — and, perhaps intentionally, she manages to traverse and incorporate nearly as many genres’ elements in the work overall.

The most prevalent genre she leans into is r&b, with many of the tracks having a mature and almost sensual sound to them as she explores the facets of love and the many forms a relationship can take, but she doesn’t shy away from blending in new or old styles along the way.

The first track is the eponymous “EROS.” Although it has a generally mellow, café vibe, there are subtle electronic and r&b elements added throughout which give it a slightly more energetic profile. Combined with Susan’s low, velvety tones and slight vocal fry, the track is quite an earworm, though it seems subtle at first. In many ways this track reminds me of a Red Velvet b-side, with its r&b-infused pop. It has a mature, sensual sound which fits the overall theme of the EP and the intention behind the project.

The second track, “Amateur Lover,” continues to draw from R&B, but throws city pop into the mix to create a synth-heavy confidence-boosting track which is perfect to groove along to. It ups the energy of the EP, despite being the shortest track on the EP. This track is probably the most trendy of all of them, taking a lot of cues from pop songs.

The midpoint of the EP is “Sugar Blues,” a track driven by a filtered piano which follows more along the lines of a ballad while still holding firm to the r&b trend Susan has set throughout the EP. Like the title track, it sets a more sensual tone which fits the overall theme of the album quite well. Susan shows off quite a bit more of her vocal range in this track, including some beautiful harmonies and ad-libbing.

Allergy” is a more electronic track, almost reminiscent of LOSSOM in some regards, though it still incorporates acoustic elements. The chorus is highly layered and complex, committing fully to the electro-pop where the rest of the track incorporates more acoustic elements. Susan’s ad-libbing in this track is particularly delightful, as well as her harmonies. The track expresses an intensity of emotion that the other tracks don’t, and provides a bit of a shake-up to the EP’s status quo.

The final track, “Shattered,” is probably most similar to her previous work on ‘0‘, harkening back to some of her more folksy roots. This track is the most ballad-like on the EP and features a decent amount of reverb, making it the perfect closer. Featuring piano, orchestral strings, and possibly even the sound of waves (though it’s hard to tell), it ends the EP on a dreamy note.

While I was already impressed with Susan when I found ‘0’ last year, this EP truly shows her versatility and growth, expanding beyond the electronic-infused folk music she had released prior. Although elements of that still shine through in ‘EROS’, particularly in the first and last tracks, Susan has quickly proven herself to be an artist who can move comfortably between genres while still retaining her own personal flair. This EP has something for almost anyone, so I highly recommend giving it a listen.

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