“How do we heal from this?” Kam Franklin asks on The Suffers’ explosive new album, It Starts With Love. “How do we heal?” Written in the midst of a tumultuous stretch that saw the Gulf Coast Soul powerhouse reinvent themselves personally and professionally, the record is a fierce, defiant ode to resilience and commitment, one that reckons with racism, misogyny, and the ugly underbelly of the music industry even as it celebrates growth, evolution, and self-acceptance. Mixed by GRAMMY-winner Adrian Quesada (Black Pumas, Prince), It Starts With Love is an album for survivors, for the doubted and the written off, but it’s delivered with the kind of faith and conviction that ultimately transcends pain and anger to land on something far more triumphant.
Founded in 2011, The Suffers built a devoted local following in Houston before breaking out with their 2015 debut EP, Make Some Room, which helped land performances everywhere from Letterman to NPR’s Tiny Desk. The band followed it up in 2016 with a self-titled full-length that yielded similar acclaim along with star-making performances at Newport Folk and on The Daily Show. By the time the group released their 2018 sophomore effort, Everything Here, their arrival as critical and festival favorites was undeniable, with NPR praising the “multidimensional, multicultural possibilities of their take on soul” and The Guardian hailing their “adventurous” blend of ”70s R&B, disco, jazz, and contemporary gospel.”