Susanna Hoffs Switches Roles on The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb,” Reveals New Album

“It is a magical thing,” Susanna Hoffs told American Songwriter, upon releasing her 2021 covers album, Bright Lights. Still enamored by songs in her past and present, Hoffs has recorded a new collection of tracks for her upcoming album The Deep End (Baroque Folk), out April 7.

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Teaming up with legendary producer Peter Asher (James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt), Hoffs takes on 13 of her favorite songs, bookended by the lead single, The Rolling Stones‘ 1966 track “Under My Thumb,” and closing on a post-punk surprise with her reimagining of Yazoo’s 1982 Upstairs at Eric’s track “Only You.”

On the Stones’ more misogynist Aftermath track, Hoffs switched up the roles in the lyrics to reinterpret the song. “I love the Rolling Stones,” said Hoffs. “I’ve listened to that song on repeat since it came out in the mid-’60s. I had an epiphany when I really thought about what the song is about, and it ignited this idea to do my own spin on it—to change the gender and see how it felt.”

Hoffs adds, “What if the roles are/were reversed and the boy is under her thumb? It was exhilarating to give it a new spin, to flip it on its head, or on its ass. It’s a sassy, irreverent song, so it was extremely pleasurable to turn the tables.”

Other tracks on The Deep End are songs that have connected to Hoffs over the years, including tracks by Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish, Holly Humberstone, and Joy Oladokun, along with some older favorites, including Leslie Gore’s feminist anthem “You Don’t Own Me,” released in 1963.

While Gore’s is the oldest track on the album, Hoffs also connected with newcomer British singer and songwriter Holly Humberstone’s 2022 ballad “Deep End.”

“When Peter shared this song with me, I was utterly entranced,” said Hoffs of Humberstone’s song. “It was so moving, so beautiful, so rich and deep with emotion and so vivid in the imagery as well. It’s such a special song that we ended up naming the album after it.”

Several days before the release of The Deep End, Hoffs is also releasing her debut novel, This Bird Has Flown (Little, Brown) on April 4. The book was recently acquired by Universal Pictures for a feature adaptation.

The Deep End Track Listing 

Under My Thumb (The Rolling Stones)
Deep End (Holly Humberstone)
If You’ve Got a Problem (Joy Oladokun)
Afterglow (Ed Sheeran)
Time Moves On (Phantom Planet)
Say You Don’t Mind (Denny Laine)
Black Coffee in Bed (Squeeze)
West Coast (Jason Schwartzman)
Would You Be So Kind (Dodie)
When the Party’s Over (written by Finneas O’Connell for Billie Eilish)
Pawn Shop (Brandy Clark)
You Don’t Own Me (Leslie Gore) 
Only You (Yazoo)

This Bird Has Flown – Book Tour 

April 3  New York, NY  The Strand
April 6  San Francisco, CA  Book Passage
April 7  San Diego, CA  Warwick’s
April 10  Los Angeles, CA  Live Talks LA
April 13  Chicago, IL  Chicago Humanities Festival
April 22-23  Los Angeles, CA  Los Angeles Times Book Festival 

Photo by Shervin Lainez

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