Suuns in Leeds
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Tuesday 24th May 2022, £15.00
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Montreal-based experimental rock trio Suuns blend aspects of dark electro, dissonant art rock, and plodding indie rock in a constantly shifting sound. The band toured extensively, and their foggy, amorphous style of song construction grew more sophisticated over the course of albums like 2016's Hold/Still and 2021's The Witness.
Suuns formed in 2007 when friends Ben Shemie and Joe Yarmush were playing around with musical ideas that bloomed into full-on songs. The two guitarists enlisted bassist Max Henry and drummer Liam O'Neill for the first iteration of Suuns, originally working under the name Zeroes. The band started out with a minimal and sometimes-paranoid take on indie rock and released a two-song 7" in 2008. They recorded a full-length with the Besnard Lakes' Jace Lasek at Breakglass Studios in their home city of Montreal. Upon Lasek's recommendation, the ten-song Zeroes QC caught the attention of Secretly Canadian, and Suuns signed to the label in the autumn of 2010. That October, the album was released just as the group started touring with the Besnard Lakes and Land of Talk.
Sophomore effort Images du Futur arrived three years later, further exploring the dark sounds of Suuns' debut. The album was included on the long list for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize. It was 2015 when Secretly Canadian released a collaborative record that Suuns and friend Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem in My Heart had been working on in 2012. The long-labored album took years to complete and found the band's minimal electronic approach embracing Moumneh's Arabic influences and complementary synthesizer sensibilities. Suuns then recorded their third proper album with producer John Congleton at his Dallas studio. Incorporating more electronics into the group's sound, Hold/Still appeared on Secretly Canadian in April 2016. The following year, they returned to the studio alongside Congleton, doubling down on the electronic elements for 2018's Felt. At that point, Henry left the group as an official member, but he continued working with Suuns in the studio.
The band worked in a similar territory on their moody and sometimes ambient-toned 2021 album The Witness. The set was recorded by the group at home over the course of 2020, with Congleton again aiding by mixing the record. The Witness would be Suuns' first album for the Joyful Noise label, and was released in September 2021.
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