Written by Maria Arroyo
The progressive Montreal-based band, SUUNS, has released their newest EP, Fiction, on Joyful Noise. Made up of musicians Ben Shemie, Joe Yarmush, and Liam O’Neill, this forward-thinking, future-powered, new-sounding group is pushing every sonic boundary to a higher level.
Created over a year-long timeframe, SUUNS pulls their inspiration in reflecting on the “various environments in which they’ve created music over the years: to comb through their previous sounds and creative approaches, and fuse them together with new ideas, ultimately producing a sort of future/past alchemy.”
Their opening track, “Look,” plays around the simplicity and the workability of the pentatonic scale, whilst adding an eerie like inspiration into the mic. It’s almost other-worldly in a very interesting way and is such an immersive listen. “Breathe” (feat. Radwan Ghazi Moumneh from Jerusalem In My Heart) is a beautifully-cultured song that has an enormous wash of inspirations and musical ideas that add a value of timelessness to it.
“Pray” introduces a huge energy shift, but still keeps their cultural sound at the core of it all. This track was actually meant for 2016’s Hold/Still, which O’Neill explains in more detail here.
“It didn’t make the cut,” he says, “probably because we loved it so much and thought we had an even better version of it in us. We subsequently tried to record multiple versions of this song, none of which captured the unhinged energy of this live-off-the-floor performance. Discovering this lost jam and its power felt like a reminder to keep in the moment and to trust ourselves – you just have to keep moving forward.”
The title track, “Fiction,” has a more futuristic sound to it that the others don’t which makes it stand out even more. They continue to use different tones and textures to create a creative and uniquely intense song. Their next track features the vocalist from Lightning Dust, Amber Wedder, whom the band says brings [“Death”] to life in the form of a mournful siren song on the penultimate track.” There’s this trance-like sensitivity that enticed me all the way through.
Closing out the album is “Trouble Every Day,” a song all too relevant, especially from a societal standpoint. They create this build of emotions and anger that stirs inside you with every word of the song, until you feel like you’re going to explode, only for them to finally resolve the tension that we all feel.
Fiction is a rollercoaster of a listen, in a great and eye-opening way, which is amplified to the max with their closing song. There are more and more artists who are using the platform they have to expedite a much-needed change in our world, and it’s immensely powerful to be on the other side of it.
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