Over the spring, legendary vocalizer Suzzy Roche and her daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche headed down to Nashville and record their third album together.
Videos by American Songwriter
Entitled I Can Still Hear You, the duo were a good week into the sessions when the country shut down after the COVID-19 pandemic forced most Americans to quarantine in their homes. The two were just a week or so into their recording sessions with producer Jordan Brooke Hamlin (who had produced Lucy’s last two solo albums) when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Suzzy and Lucy had to return quickly to their homes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively, for lockdown. Yet that didn’t stop Roche and Wainwright from completing the album, working alongside a skeleton team that includes Helen Vaskevitch (assistant engineer), Stewart Lerman (who wound up mixing the record) and Dick Connette (StorySound Records) to finish this 11-track set filled with both originals and covers.
“Although this wasn’t the plan we originally made, and although it was trying at times,” Lucy says of the sessions, “we made it work and I actually think this is my favorite of our duo recordings.”
There’s even guest appearances from Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls throughout the record, particularly this track, the video of which American Songwriter is honored to premiere today. Both the song and its visual accompaniment were created in memory of Suzzy’s sister and bandmate Maggie Roche, who passed away from breast cancer in early 2017.
“When my sister Maggie died, I couldn’t imagine going on without her,” Suzzy tells American Songwriter. “One day this song came to me as I walked around my neighborhood in NYC. I felt that Maggie was talking to me. We lived blocks away from each other and used to run into each other all the time. Janie Geiser, who made the video, is one of my favorite visual artists, and she captured the aloneness that paradoxically is a big part of living in a city of millions. I wanted Lucy to sing the bulk of the song because her voice is pure, like an old soul. And Emily Saliers and I traded off on the acoustic guitar part. Very cool.”
I Can Still Hear You comes out on October 30, and stands as a special project for both Lucy and Suzzy as these two key figures in the iconic Roche-Wainwright multiverse hope the sweet innocence of this most beguiling collection will resonate with listeners in need of some levity.
“In a time when so many people are suffering,” Suzzy proclaims, “you hope that you can put something out into the world that will comfort, not in any saccharine way, but in the truest way you know how to.”
Lucy adds, “I think the impact of this time on the music and on us remains unseen in some way. It’s still unfolding, but it feels like a mysteriously timed project and I really am glad to get it out into the world.”