A GIRL IN TEEN CITY
“Here is my story of A Girl in Teen City. Trying to find out who she is while trying to be something she isn’t. Falling in love, getting drunk, having her heart broken, hanging out with friends in bedrooms, basements and parking lots, sneaking into shows in burnt out warehouses, watching the waves, walking home over bridges and railroad tracks in all that endless rain.” -- Oh Susanna/Suzie Ungerleider
From kicking down gravel strewn alleys to evenings tinged with salt air, Oh Susanna’s new album A Girl In Teen City, traverses to the most personal place yet: a conjured, vivid past.
Searching for identity is the hallmark of youth, and Vancouver in the 1980s was a place on the verge of knowing. Here, Oh Susanna (Suzie Ungerleider) discovers what it means to be undone by love, the exuberant freedom under the cover of night, and music bursting with riotous rebellion. Like a coming of age novel, A Girl In Teen City, is both piercingly specific and exhilaratingly familiar. No matter where you grew up, or where you live, the songs will bring you home.
A Girl In Teen City reunites Suzie Ungerleider with producer Jim Bryson. Jim and Suzie collaborated on her previous release Namedropper, an album featuring the songs of Canada’s top songwriters written specifically for Oh Susanna to interpret. With six other critically-acclaimed albums of original songs in her carpet bag, Oh Susanna tells stories of troubled souls who rebel against their circumstances to attain a quiet dignity. They are outsiders, real and imagined, but rarely herself. This time, with the urging by her friend and co-conspirator, Jim Bryson, she embarked on a time machine to visit her teenage self in a sleepy port town that she thought no one had ever heard of.
From cheeky rock pop to quietly beautiful love songs, A Girl In Teen City reflects Oh Susanna’s songwriting breadth. Her brilliant vocals float through the sensuous instrumentation to create a cinematic soundscape. The album finds Suzie working with longtime friends and musicians Eli Abrams on bass, Cam Giroux on drums, Gord Tough on guitar, and Jim Bryson on guitar and keyboards. Guest harmony vocalists include Holly McNarland, Gabrielle Giguere, Suzie’s sister Jessie and niece Sofia. Drummer Paul Brennan makes an appearance on the shiny scrappy pop song “My Boyfriend”, a song about being a girl on the sidelines watching a failed high school band rehearsal – a band where Paul himself was a member.
“This record, Suzie’s most vulnerable, captures that time when you have so much emotion and no where to put it,” relates Jim Bryson. “It’s like leaving a movie, awash in feelings and with a new understanding so that your world almost made sense. But if you walked through your door at home it would all go away…so you sit outside just for a little while. It transports me.”
The Juno-nominated and Genie award-winning Canadian songstress began performing as Oh Susanna in the mid-1990s, crafting a persona that matched the timeless qualities of her music, sounds that drew from the deep well of early 20th Century folk, country and blues, yet rooted in her finely-honed storytelling skills.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
- 2015 – Canadian Folk Music Nomination for Solo Artist of the Year
- 2011 – Juno Nomination for Best Producer for Soon The Birds
- 2009 – CBC Great Canadian Song Quest winner
- 2007 – Canadian Folk Music Award Nomination for Best Album Short Stories
- 2007 – Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Songwriter in English
- 2007 – Juno Nomination for Best Roots and Traditional Album for Solo Artist for Short Stories
- 2003 – Juno Nomination for Best Roots and Traditional Album for Solo Artist For Oh Susanna
- 1998 – Genie Award for Best Original Song “River Blue”