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Catching up with Suz Slezak, founding member of David Wax Museum band

Suz Slezak is a songwriter, musician, wife, mother, and a founding member of the Indie Folk band David Wax Museum. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Suz in her home in Charlottesville, where she talked about her newly released solo album, life on the road with her husband David Wax and their young children and living with bipolar disorder.

From a very early age, Suz knew that she wanted her family and her job to be intertwined — for her “life to feel integrated and connected.” She was pregnant with each of her children while on the road performing. They are now 5 and 8 and, except for a two-year break during the pandemic, and tour full-time with their parents.

I spent several years as a touring singer-songwriter, and I know the amount of work that goes into the business of making and sharing music. I am inspired by the life she and David have created and the way in which she talks so openly about balancing family, work and her mental health.

So, it is no surprise that Suz’s solo album tackles some of her most difficult experiences — losing a close friend in her youth to suicide, giving birth, and the challenges of what she describes as a “bipolar brain.” Her music and lyrics handle these topics with grace, beauty, and even optimism. And true to fulfilling her vision for her life to be in one box, her daughter, Calliope, joins her on the last verse of “Now it is Morning”— the album’s closing song and promising message:

Now it is morning, the dove calls to me again
Whispering flute, the whistles of kin
My eyes find the window, it’s veiled by a thin wisp of 
Curtain that’s still now but soon the breath enters 
My room, it’s the spirit that animates you and
Animates me as I lie on this bed
In a house on an earth that was spinning before me
That will spin right on after me, spin right on after me

Terri Allard
Charlottesville Inside-Out Host/Producer