SUUNS – ” Fiction ” EP

Posted: October 29, 2020 in MUSIC
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For over a decade, Montreal’s Suuns have been formulating a mixture of krautrock, jazz, post-punk, and noise rock, resulting in atmospheric and enthralling compositions. But after releasing and touring 2018’s Felt, founding member Max Henry departed the group in order to pursue a scholastic path, setting off a series of massive changes. The rest of the group—singer Ben Shemie, drummer Liam O’Neill, and guitarist Joseph Yarmush—underwent an experimental metamorphosis, performing with various pals to see who could fill Henry’s place.

“We would try new stuff out as it’s coming in on tour, or during shows, to test out some things,” Shemie explains, calling from Paris. “That was much more difficult because we were trying different people out to play. That made the whole process a lot more arduous in terms of having to learn all this material that the three of us knew so well, and then try to teach it to new people,” O’Neill, calling from the other side of the Atlantic in Montreal, chimes in. “At this point we’d been working so long together, it’s second nature in a way. It’s a place where you can navigate the creative process. It’s not a thing you can ever teach. You have to experience that.”

For a band whose live shows are integral to their process and development of ideas, a global pandemic forced them to rework a release schedule that had become somewhat routine over the past decade. “In the history of our band, and for most working bands, you’re on this hamster wheel the whole time,” O’Neill says. “You’re working and doing that endless cycle of recording and touring and then recording again.” After finding keyboard replacement Mathieu Charbonneau, Suuns were preparing to release and tour their fifth album this year, which COVID halted; the hamster wheel broke.

In lieu of Felt’s follow-up, they’ve released two live albums to commemorate the departure of Henry, and a remix album of their breakthrough 2013 single “2020.” Their latest offering to tide us over until next year’s full-length is a six-track EP, composed of some older reworked tracks and a few newer songs that didn’t make the forthcoming album. It’s their most diverse collection yet, with bits of ambient noise, bouncing hip-hop inflections, and bursts of processional drums. We chatted about how Fiction creatively energized the band and made them rethink their process. 

Suuns off ‘Fiction EP’ out on Joyful Noise Recordings (World) & Secret City Records (Canada).

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