Sometimes there’s a thin veil between sadness and comfort, some warmth in crying. Susannah Cutler’s folk project, Yours Are the Only Ears, finds this veil and hands it to us. Her new song “Low” explores the darker thoughts that surface in solitude, and the strangeness of being forgiven. It’s as delicate as her previous work, with the additional nudge of subdued synth sounds, but still laden with heavy feeling. Even as Cutler’s voice floats lightly over gentle guitar and wind chimes, she draws each word and note to its brink.
In a video directed by Tara Bayat and produced by Ryan Schnackenberg, Cutler lingers in the American Museum of Natural History and in the park alongside keyboardist JongMin Lin, taking in the displays of frozen life. The visuals have a cool, muted feel; it’s the last stretch of winter and everything is dormant and waiting. In the slightest gesture to Nico, Cutler sings, “I used to make decisions, but these days they make me,” looking us in the eye with unflinching honesty.
Bayat says of the video:
I think Susannah’s youth in Manhattan has brought out an idealization of nature in all her work. She’s an accomplished visual artist as well, and the artifice, nostalgia, and beauty in the exhibits at the museum of natural history struck me as somehow similar to the themes in her own work. I wanted to bring these things together and show Susananah searching for something tangible in an artificial place.
Yours Are the Only Ears March tour dates
18 Brooklyn, NY at Palisades
19 Washington, DC at Above the Bayou
20 Athens, OH at The Pink Mistress
21 Philadelphia, PA at The Pharmacy
22 Saratoga Springs, NY at Mansion House