Artist Susannah Joffe talks first EP The Punch ahead of SXSW

Angela Lim, Life and Arts senior reporter

In a fluorescent, rose-colored room, Susannah Joffe’s cold gaze pierces through her heartbreak. The radio-television-film and Plan II senior courageously shares her untethered state of mind through her February EP, The Punch. The five-track EP represents the artist’s pain and lessons learned from human relationships with raw emotion.

The Daily Texan spoke with Joffe about her project ahead of her plans to perform at SXSW in March and release two music videos.


The Daily Texan: How have you been since we last talked in 2020?

Susannah Joffe: So much has changed since I last spoke to y’all. I’m a completely different person in a completely different place in my life. … My career then was more of this loose fantasy, and I’m now actually seeing myself as a musician, rather than it being this unattainable thing, and that’s amazing.


DT: What’s the meaning behind your lead song, “The Punch,” and how is it different from your previous releases?

SJ: That song was a reflection of all my relationships and romantic encounters across my life. I’d always been searching for this very genuine connection, and it seemed like everyone I’ve met was looking for this fleeting high — or, as I refer to it in the song, “the punch.” It’s a final reflection of a breakup I had a little bit over a year ago, and it was an important note to end on because a lot of my songs before had been this sad longing for this person to come back. But, I wrote (“The Punch”) in a place where I was like, “I’m not fully responsible for what happened, this person needs to take ownership.”


DT: What was it like collaborating with Sarah and the Sundays for this EP?

SJ: They helped with making the demos for every single song, and they played (instruments for) most of them. (The band’s) bassist, Declan Chill, produced “The Punch.” Just going over to their little house studio every week and messing around with them was a delight. I love these guys so much, and I really trust them because their music is incredible, and I’ve known them for a while. They elevated the song to a completely new level.


DT: What’s your favorite song from this EP?

SJ: “The Punch” and “Backseat” are tied for my favorite. “Backseat” was one of the first songs I’d ever written in my life. The chorus is a reference to “Blue Is the Warmest Color” — which I will acknowledge its director is very problematic, and I don’t condone that at all — but that film was really instrumental to me coming out. It’s what I watched the night before I told my parents I was attracted to women. The bridge is a reference to Clairo and her song, “Bags.” I feel a strong attachment. It feels so personal to me. I was coming out (through “Backseat”). (As for) “The Punch,” I just like playing with the 2000s pop-punk sound. (The bridge) is one of my favorite things I’ve made because (of) the switch and drum beat. If you listen closely, there’s opposing lines in the background — I don’t think anyone would ever figure out what the lyrics are (except for) me and the people who recorded it, which is really fun.