Stream Yours Are The Only Ears Knock Hard

Susannah Cutler’s music as Yours Are The Only Ears communicates the same sort of intimacy as the band name. Hers are small, gentle songs in the indie-pop tradition. They take the form of lo-fi synth-pop (“To Be Alone”) or spare acoustic balladry (“Fire In My Eyes”) or muted pop-rock (“Enter Me”), but — on her new album Knock Hard, at least — they all share the sensibility of a one-on-one conversation.

Even when Cutler sings something as evocative as, “I remember when she laid in the dark with me/ And we gave all the ghosts we could see a name,” she seems to be sing-whispering it directly to you, her listener-turned-confidant. This effect has unnerving consequences when things take a dark turn: “I recall my hands around your throat/ In the darkness of our hole/ The colors are all muddy now/ My angry footprint on your mouth.” Mostly it’s extremely ingratiating. The way she breathes, “Oh, where does the time go?” on Knock Hard closing track “Low,” the words become a secret message whispered directly into your ear — which, again, the band name is on-point.

Musically, she lives up to her identity as an art-school undergrad haunting Brooklyn DIY spaces, but there’s a substance and maturity to her songwriting that runs deeper than a trendy sound from a trendy scene — chalk it up to the bluesman dad and the country singer mom, I guess? Cutler has shared quite a few tracks from Knock Hard already, but there’s much more goodness to behold when you stream the full album below.

Knock Hard is out 5/11 on Team Love. Pre-order it here.