Music

The art-rock of SUUNS in Monday Song

By Stefano Nappa
2 min read

Suuns are a very avant-garde Montreal rock band that everyone should know. It is not the first Canadian band that we host in our Monday Song, we have already given BADBADNOTGOOD a space, better not sleep on their music.

These four guys formed the band during the summer of 2007 when singer/guitarist Ben Shemie and guitarist/bassist Joe Yarmush got together to create beats that quickly evolved into some songs. The duo was joined by drummer Liam O’Neill and bassist/keyboardist Max Henry to complete the lineup. The band signed a contract for the Secretly Canadian label in 2010.

suuns

Since forming, Suuns have proven to be an innovative band. From record to record, the art-rock band has always found a way to stay fresh and keep its sound evolving. Their music is pure instinct. The music of the Suuns sounds twisted and squashed because it collects different influences.

Guitars repeat like arpeggiated keyboards, crisp percussion pushes through space with drum machines, and voices growl and tremble like synthesizers. The frontman of the Canadian quartet, Ben Shemie, once said: «I like this idea of pressure», their music is a constant pressure on the notes that join the sensations.
The lead vocal and hyper-compressed instrumentation repel each other, with each element blossoming and shrinking like oil stains in water.

All the discs produced are connected to each other with interludes made of very significant EPs in the evolution of the band’s unique sound.

For example Fiction is clearly connected to Felt, released in 2018; Death also reuses part of Moonbeams, Felt‘s penultimate song. The songs are subjected to nervous and turbulent notes closed by stammering feedback. The music echoes clearly defined geometric images in the foreground against soft backdrops in a way that gives a strange sense of perspective. Suuns tap into a specific mood is not confusion, but fading.

Shemie’s melodies in Felt may seem improvised to the point of being atonal, but sometimes a beautiful pop cadence is heard.

There is such attention to distorting the voice that the effects seem to direct Shemie’s voice to a specific point. Often it feels like she has a life of her own.

Although their music seems dislocated from reality, Suuns always end up with a real attitude. For example Trouble Every Day is a spoken piece taken from a text by Frank Zappa, supported by a jazz drum crashing over a shrill guitar line.

The Suuns are visionaries like few others and they are the band that can change your Monday.

2 min read

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