On his latest album as Suzanne Kraft, Los Angeles native Diego Herrera, now based in Amsterdam, takes the pulse of a heart in flux. Written during a period when a flourishing romance was abruptly transformed by enforced distance, About You drifts through emotional highs and lows in search of a stable foothold. Musically, too, Herrera continues his history of self-reinvention, trading the peaceful stillness of ambient music—which was itself a departure from the punchy, disco-infused house of the earliest part of his career—for blissful bedroom pop influenced by the shoegaze music of his youth.
“And then I was gone,” Herrera faintly sings in opener “On Our Hands,” pausing to ask: “Did it feel the same for you as me?” The synth chimes are jaunty and the drums laid-back, but there’s an underpinning of doubt to remind you it’s not so simple—when there’s a physical rift between you and the person you love, do they miss you as much as you miss them? Should you even ask, or do you already know the answer? “Waiting” ratchets up the paranoia even further, crashing in with a tidal wave of fuzzed-out guitar as Herrera ponders the anxiety of separation: “You can know somebody for ages,” he murmurs, “but it doesn't change the game” of guessing where things stand. The most striking moment of the album comes when the wall of sound drops out for the briefest moment, mimicking the feel of your heart skipping a beat as the text notification you’ve been on edge waiting for finally pops up.
Herrera also explores the joy of a heart spinning out of control. On “Blush,” he expresses the simple desire to be around his crush while sharing in a moment of wordless tenderness, imploring his sweetheart, “Sigh another sigh for me.” Guitar stretches out into long trails as synth washes like a gentle tide over a lazy bassline, creating an atmosphere fit for cuddling. “Attenuate” leans most heavily into the indie-pop sound Herrera is channeling, prominently showing off a more melodic side of his voice as he bounces over jangly guitar and crisp, snappy percussion. He embraces his shift in direction just as he welcomes the excitement of a new love affair, singing, “Jumping the gun sometimes can be the best.”
Closing track “Going Down” brings it all together, celebrating the pleasure and pain of deep yearning in equal measure. Once again, Herrera displays his mastery of mood-setting, but rather than the airy textures of his ambient music, he swirls together sharper, more vivid elements—breezy guitar and a slithering synth line are joined by a low crackle and smooth saxophone, all jostling for position in the foreground. Herrera sings for the first time on this album, but his voice remains hushed, his words held close to his chest; it sounds almost as if he’s singing through half-parted lips. “Going Down” marks a moment of delicate intimacy not only for the artist, but for his confidant, the listener. About You finally puts the man behind Suzanne Kraft front and center as he offers up more of himself—his voice, his memories, and, most importantly, his heavy heart.
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