The Suffers tackle hot-button issues in latest album - Albuquerque Journal

The Suffers tackle hot-button issues in latest album

The Suffers will perform at the Santa Fe Plaza on Monday, July 11. The soul funk group is touring in support of its album, “It Starts With Love.” (Courtesy of Agave Bloom Photography)

It’s full circle in a way for Kam Franklin.

Eleven years ago, Franklin and The Suffers played their first out of town show in Santa Fe for a wedding.

“It was to see if we could even tour,” she says during a stop in Portland, Oregon. “I always have Santa Fe associated with that memory.”

Flash forward to today, The Suffers are touring in support of the third album, “It Starts With Love,” which was released on June 3. The band will play at the Santa Fe Plaza at 6 p.m. Monday, July 11. Chill House and Hillary Smith open up for the band.

It’s been a few years since The Suffers were on the road in a full-scale tour.

“It’s been very weird and it’s not anything close to what it used to be,” Franklin says of touring post-pandemic. “It’s a very competitive market right now. The tours are bringing me the same joy because of the shows. A couple of years ago, we weren’t fighting algorithms. Now we’re focusing on social media and word of mouth.”

Franklin says The Suffers have returned to word of mouth promotion because it’s what has set the foundation for the band.

“We appreciate the fans who have been following us since the beginning,” she says. “They’ve always offered support for us and try to make it easier on us. We’re often playing new markets and rely on the grassroots kind of marketing to get us going.”

With the band’s third full-length album out, Franklin says it’s been wonderful to share the music with audiences.

Like previous albums, the songs are stacked with a point of view and Franklin is always ready to speak her mind.

“Making an album is never the same,” she says. “I personally hope that no album is like this again. There were many hoops that we jumped through.”

Franklin says the band did their best to be themselves – both sonically and lyrically.

She says the band often has to fight for space in the world.

“Being a multicultural band, it’s amazing that the racism is unending,” she says. “My band is majority Hispanic and the things that I’ve seen. I grew up highly alert of the daily racism as a Black woman. On this record, people are going to learn how Black and brown we are. That’s how you get to break those barriers. We speak our mind.”

The album is full of songs that tackle national hot-button issues.

“I’m not afraid to speak out,” Franklin says. “We’re in a country where liberties are taken away from us right before our eyes. It’s only a matter of time before they start coming for our freedom of speech. If you don’t speak out about it, you’re part of the problem. I’m at a place that I’m not going to take it anymore and I used music as the mode of communication.”

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