With a little bit of rock, a lot of passion, and an undeniable singer-songwriter lyricism, Susan Wendelken is causing a welcome disruption to the music scene with the release of her latest project titled Alayne's Echo. Raised on Long Island, NY, she was immersed in music almost from infancy, with adults recognizing her extraordinary singing shortly after she learned to speak. She learned to play the piano from her mother at just three years old. Susan’s influences poured through the household speakers—iconic artists such as Carole King, The Mamas and the Papas, and Tina Turner, followed by big band jazz. Then, as a teenager, she discovered her love for heavy metal. This led to many musical contributions including songs featured in ESPN’s X Games as well as in independent and foreign films. Grammy-nominated Joaquin Lievano lauded Susan as “the best female hard rock vocalist right now.”
After establishing her presence as a commanding frontwoman in this aggressive genre, Susan pivoted to embrace her Irish roots and began performing publicly in the local NYC pub scene alongside several unique musicians from Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Cherish The Ladies, Thin Lizzy, and many others. This led to additional collaborations with musicians featured in such Broadway productions as Come From Away, Rock of Ages, American Idiot, Movin’ Out, ForeverDusty, and Kinky Boots.
Her emotion-packed vocals full of grit and power became more well-known, forming the launching pad for several high-profile performances as a guest vocalist throughout the U.S. and Canada with Grammy-winner Eileen Ivers and SNL alum Jim Breuer. The Irish Examiner’s Mike Fitzpatrick wrote “my goodness what a voice (the thought if it made me type ‘my goodness’)!”
In 2020, Susan took the huge but necessary leap of faith to release her first solo single track, “Rewrite.” Recorded, mixed, and produced by Grammy-winning producer Cynthia Daniels, the song includes back-up performances exclusively by female musicians, underscoring its key relatable message about embracing your quirks and protecting all the wonderful qualities that make you you.
Susan’s desire was to find unique ways to combine the musical techniques of her influences with her own stylings to create a diverse acoustic-based sound that would be barrier- breaking and all her own. “I mostly did this for me,” Susan said about her recently released debut album Alayne's Echo. “I love the audacity of believing in my potential, releasing my first solo album at age fifty-one.”
This LP, featuring performances by legends like Richie Cannata and Lloyd Maines, is just the start of Susan’s momentum in cultivating her original and inspiring work. She can be found with her music on all the social and streaming platforms below: