19-year-old Londoner, Suzie McDermott – aka Suzi Wu – has arrived with a bang after releasing her debut EP, Teenage Witch.
Frothing with teenage angst, Wu’s debut combines adroit lyricism and a ‘rough-around-the-edges’ vibe to create a punchy and intense piece of work.
Throughout the EP, there are many blatant influences – from the likes of Patti Smith and Wolf Alice – but what is most obvious is that Wu is following her own path and creating her own distinct sound. Teenage Witch predominantly paves the way for a new genre of music.
The EP is raw and honest with a cocky confidence, but it also feels intimate, and it constantly delves into Wu’s innermost thoughts.
The debut and titular track, for example, was inspired by a series of comic books and tells of her experience of dropping out of sixth form.
In the song, Wu paints a bleak picture of London life from the viewpoint of a confused, teenage outcast who’s, ‘’too scared to live, too stoned to die”. It feels gritty in the best sort of way and acts as a brilliant opener to the EP as it flaunts Wu’s unique style.
Hidden at the centre of this colloquial EP is a cover of Tom Waits’ husky and dark track, ‘Jockey Full Of Bourbon’. Wu’s rendition sees the song take on a new electronic sound, making the original composition almost unrecognisable. If you weren’t aware of the fact it’s a cover, you would assume this was another of her original, idiosyncratic tracks.
Of this track Wu has previously said in a recent interview with Noisey (Vice), “I always wanted to cover Tom Waits because I’ve never seen anyone do it right. A lot of people try and do it like him, but you can’t do him, you can’t be Tom Waits. So I was like, I’m going to make this weird and staccato and do something different.”
And she’s certainly carried this off with superb results.
Overall, Teenage Witch feels like a piece of art with scatterings of spoken word throughout and a really unique feeling that runs through. In a recent interview, Wu hinted at some upcoming live shows at which she intends to “freak people out”. This EP, in a live setting, might help her to achieve just that.
Featured Image by Bree Hart.
Words by Hannah Lee.