You might recognize Suki Waterhouse as an actress, but you’ll really get to know the multi-faceted singer and songwriter through her debut album, I Can't Let Go.
Nowadays, voice memos, videos, and pictures chronicle our lives in real-time. We trace where we’ve been and reveal where we’re going. However, Suki Waterhouse catalogs the most intimate, formative, and significant moments of her life through songs. Memories of unrequited love, fits of longing, instances of anxiety, and unfiltered snapshots interlock like puzzle pieces into a mosaic of well-worn country, nineties-style alternative, and unassuming pop. She writes the kind of tunes meant to be grafted onto dusty old vinyl from your favorite vintage record store, yet perfect for a sun-soaked festival stage.
Said Suki, “The album is called I Can’t Let Go, because for years it felt like I was wearing heavy moments on my sleeve and it just didn’t make sense to do so anymore. There’s so much that I’ve never spoken about. Writing music has always been where it felt safe to do so. Every song for the record was a necessity. In many ways, I’ve been observing my life as an outsider, even when I’ve been on the inside. It’s like I was a visitor watching things happen.”
Growing up in London, Suki gravitated towards music’s magnetic pull. She listened to the likes of Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple. Meanwhile, Oasis held a particularly special place in her heart. She initially teased out this facet of her creativity with a series of singles, generating nearly 20 million total streams independently. Constantly consuming artists of all stripes, she listened to the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Valerie June, Garbage, Frazey Ford, Lou Doillon, and Lucinda Williams. In late 2020, she finally dove into making what would become I Can’t Let Go. Falling in love with Hiss Golden Messenger’s Terms Of Surrender, she reached out to its producer Brad Cook (Bon Iver, War On Drugs, Snail Mail, Waxahatchee).
In the end, Suki not only catalogs her life up to this point on the album, but she also fulfills a lifelong ambition.
“When I’ve been stuck or feel out of touch with a sense of inner meaning and outer purpose, I’ve found both through searching my memories and finding those events buried in the shadowy areas of the psyche where they were ignored,” she leaves off. “So many times of change in my life have required return visits, especially at the transitions through to the next stages. The album is an exploration of those moments when there is nothing left to lose. What is left and can’t be thrown away is the self.”
I first discovered Suki Waterhouse in 2016’s The Bad Batch, a film about a young woman (played by Suki) exiled to a desert where she’s attacked by a group of cannibals led by Jason Momoa, barely escaping alive to a bizarre settlement run by a charismatic leader played by Keanu Reeves. The film also stars Jim Carrey, Giovanni Ribisi, and Diego Luna. And now after reading all those names you’re probably asking yourself “How have I never heard of this movie before?” Well, now you have, so feel free to seek it out after you fall in love with Suki’s new album I Can’t Let Go, then you can fall in love with her all over again for her acting.