SUUNS

Hold/Still, the third studio album from Suuns, is an enigmatic thing: an eerily beautiful, meticulously played suite of music that embraces opposites and makes a virtue of cognitive dissonance. It is a record that does not give up its secrets easily. The 11 songs within are simultaneously psychedelic, but austere; sensual, but cold; organic, but electronic; tense sometimes to the brink of mania, but always retaining perfect poise and control. "There's an element of this album that resists you as a listener, and I think that's because of these constantly opposing forces," says drummer Liam O'Neill. "Listen to the song 'Brainwash', for instance, "It's a very soft, lyrical guitar song, existing alongside extremely aggressive and sparse drum textures. It inhabits these two worlds at the same time." From the beginning, Suuns (you pronounce it "soons", and it translates as "zeroes" in Thai) have sought to do things differently. They formed in Montreal 2007, when singer/guitarist Ben Shemie and guitarist Joe Yarmush got together to work on some demos, soon to be joined by Liam, Ben's old schoolfriend, on drums and Max Henry on synth. Their group's first two records, 2010's Zeroes QC and 2012's Polaris Prize-nominated Images Du Futur — both released on Secretly Canadian — were immediate critical hits, and Suuns soon found themselves part of a late '00s musical renaissance in the city, alongside fellow groups like The Besnard Lakes, Islands and Land Of Talk. Still, at the same time, Suuns feel remote from the big, baroque ensembles and apocalyptic orchestras that typify the Montreal scene. "We write quite minimal music," thinks Ben. "They're not traditional song forms, sometimes they don't really go anywhere — but they have their own kind of logic." Or as Joe puts it: "It's pop music, but sitting in this evil space." After two records produced by their friend Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes at his Montreal studio Breakglass, Suuns decided Hold/Still demanded a different approach. In May 2015, they decamped to Dallas, Texas to work with Grammy- winning producer John Congleton (St Vincent, The War On Drugs, Sleater- Kinney). For three intense weeks, the four recorded in Congleton's studio by day, the producer driving them to capture perfect live takes with virtually no overdubbing. At night, they returned to their cramped apartment and stewed. "Recording in Montreal, it's more of a party atmosphere," says Joe. "Here it felt like we were on a mission. We were looking for something to take us out of our element, or that might seep into our music." Luckily, the effect was galvanizing. Under Congleton's instruction, 'Translate' and 'Infinity', songs the group had been reworking for years, suddenly found their form. The result is undoubtedly Suuns' most focused album to date, the sound of a band working in mental lockstep, crafting a guitar music that feels unbeholden to clear traditions or genre brackets. From the haunted electronic blues of 'Nobody Can Save Me Now' to throbbing seven-minute centrepiece 'Careful', Hold/Still foregrounds the work of Max, a synthesizer obsessive who builds hisown patches and confesses to using cranky or budget equipment as well as top-of-the-range kit because "[good gear] does all the work for you, and that's not always fun". Certainly, this is a band as inspired by the dark groove textures of Andy Stott, the flourishing arpeggios of James Holden or the serrated productions of Death Grips as anything familiarly rock. "Things don't feel right until they've been touched or cast over in an electronic light," elaborates Liam. "It's rare that acoustic drum kit, guitar, and bass comprise a finished product for us. For a song to be Suuns, it has to be coloured by electronics". Certainly this remains a band in love with the aesthetic of obscurity. The album cover is an image of Ben's former workmate Nahka, who was captured by photographer Caroline Desilets using a pinhole camera with a four-minute exposure time — Hold/Still, indeed. In another contradiction, this record finds Ben's vocals far more enunciated and upfront than before. If there are themes that tie Hold/Still together, says Ben, they might be investigations "about sex... perhaps not the act specifically, just [themes] of a sexual nature. But there's also a spiritual undertone that points to another kind of searching." The sexual is illustrated in the dark romance of 'Careful', while longing becomes both sexual and spiritual in the thirsty pleas of 'Instrument': "I wanna believe/I wanna receive..." The spiritual takes over on the back half of the record. 'Nobody Can Save Me Now' evokes artist Tracey Emin's ghostly invocation For You at the Liverpool Cathedral: "I felt you / and I knew that you loved me", while side B opener 'Brainwash' wonders: "Do you see, all seeing? / Do you know, all knowing?" In a cultural centre like Montreal, bands can get too comfortable playing to their peers. Suuns, though, feel like a band always looking to the nearest border. They found early audiences in France and in Belgium, where they curated the Sonic City Festival in 2012, booking acts as diverse as Swans, Tim Hecker and Demdike Stare. Meanwhile, the last couple of years have seen them tour as far afield as Mexico, Morocco, Beirut, Taiwan and Istanbul — sometimes with friend Radwan Moumneh of the multimedia project Jerusalem In My Heart, with whom they released a brilliant collaborative record, Suuns And Jerusalem In My Heart last year. "We tour a lot as a band and we've been all over the map at this point," says Ben. "There is a concerted effort on our part, when the opportunity arises, to do that. It's like, this time, let's try to go further east, let's try to go further south. You find yourself playing in front of people who don't get bands playing in front of them often, and that can be really fun." In short, good things happen when you venture outside of your comfort zone — a truth that you could equally apply to Hold/Still itself: an album which derives its eerie power from simmering tensions and strange, stark juxtapositions, and in doing so, directs rock music down a new, unventured path.

LISTEN // Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart Self-Titled Album Streaming Now, Out April 14th Worldwide

“A gargantuan, continent-fusing album”
Stereogum

The new self-titled collaboration between Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart is now streaming far and wide across the internet a week before its release on April 14 Secret City (Canada) and Secretly Canadian (Worldwide). Listen to the album now at Les Inrocks (France), Stereogum (US), Exclaim (Canada), and VOIR (Quebec).

You can pre-order the album via SCD, Amazon, iTunes, or your local record store.

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SUUNS And Jerusalem In My Heart TRACKLIST:


1. 2amoutu I7tirakan
2. Metal
3. Seif
4. In Touch
5. Gazelles In Flight
6. Leyla
7. 3attam Babey

WATCH // Suuns And Jerusalem In My Heart Share “Gazelles In Flight” Video Via Noisey, New Collaborative Album Out April 14th


Beginning in November 2012, Suuns [Ben Shemie, Liam O’Neill, Max Henry and Joseph Yarmush] and long time friend, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, aka Jerusalem In My Heart, rented a studio in Montreal for seven days to record. The session turned into the amazing collection of tracks on the upcoming album Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart, out April 14th via Secret City in Canada and Secretly Canadian worldwide. Today, we’re sharing the video for the first single off the record, “Gazelles In Flight”, premiering this morning via Noisey and available to watch above or here on YouTube.

You can pre-order the album via SCD, Amazon, iTunes, or your local record store.

Directed by Charles-Andre Coderre, the film is made from 16mm color film archives found in a Montreal garbage container. The original footage has been modified by various handmade film techniques. On the unique video, Suuns says:


“This is our second video shot on film, while Jerusalem in my Heart works exclusively with reel-to-reel analogue film projectors. Visual artist, Charles-Andre Coderre – and visual counterpart to JIMH – manipulated the film and put this video together for this first single. It made sense to keep the video in-house, just like the music, and maintain a link to our respective projects.”


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SUUNS And Jerusalem In My Heart TRACKLIST:


1. 2amoutu I7tirakan
2. Metal
3. Seif
4. In Touch
5. Gazelles In Flight
6. Leyla
7. 3attam Babey

ALBUM ANNOUNCE // Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart Announce New Self-titled Collaborative Album Out 4/14, Listen To “Gazelles In Flight” Now

Back in November of 2012 Suuns and close friend Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In My Heart spent a week in a Montreal studio creating a collaborative album pulling in their two distinct sounds into one set of fluid and trippy recordings. These songs were not heard live until over a year later at Pop Montreal in 2013 which jump started both sides’ efforts to finish this truly unique record.

More than two years later now we are proud to present the final product, a self-titled collaborative album from Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart out April 14th via Secret City in Canada and Secretly Canadian worldwide. Listen to track “Gazelles In Flight” now above or on Soundcloud.

You can pre-order the album via SCD, Amazon, iTunes, or your local record store.

Suuns return to North America in February hitting 10 dates with Disappears. Read more below to see all their upcoming dates and check the tracklist and album art.

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TRACKLIST:
1. 2amoutu I7tirakan
2. Metal
3. Seif
4. In Touch
5. Gazelles In Flight
6. Leyla
7. 3attam Babey

SUUNS TOUR DATES:
All ticket links: http://bit.ly/Suuns_tour

Fri. Feb. 20 – Chicago, IL @ Garfield Park Conservatory %
Sat. Feb. 21 – St. Louis, MO @ The Billiken Club ^
Sun. Feb. 22 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency ^
Tues. Feb. 24 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig ^
Wed. Feb. 25 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison ^
Thurs. Feb. 26 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB ^
Fri. Feb. 27 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott ^
Sat. Feb. 28 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC ^
Sun. Mar. 1 – Washington, DC @ Rock N’ Roll Hotel ^
Mon. Mar. 2 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s 20 Lanes ^

% = w/ Disappears, Bitchin’ Bajas, Motuh Captain
^ = w/ Disappears

suunsdis_admat-1 copy

ON TOUR // Suuns Announces Co-Headlining Tour with Disappears, Starts February 2015

Suuns return to North America in February hitting 10 dates with Disappears. See all the dates below and get a preview of their live sound with the videos above or here on YouTube.

SUUNS TOUR DATES:
All ticket links: http://bit.ly/Suuns_tour

Fri. Feb. 20 – Chicago, IL @ Garfield Park Conservatory %
Sat. Feb. 21 – St. Louis, MO @ The Billiken Club ^
Sun. Feb. 22 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency ^
Tues. Feb. 24 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig ^
Wed. Feb. 25 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison ^
Thurs. Feb. 26 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB ^
Fri. Feb. 27 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott ^
Sat. Feb. 28 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC ^
Sun. Mar. 1 – Washington, DC @ Rock N’ Roll Hotel ^
Mon. Mar. 2 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s 20 Lanes ^

% = w/ Disappears, Bitchin’ Bajas, Motuh Captain
^ = w/ Disappears

suunsdis_admat-1 copy

AUDIO

Gazelles In Flight by Suuns
2020 by Suuns

TOUR DATES

03/19/16
Azores, PT - Tremor Festival

04/07/16
Ste-Therese, Quebec - Bar Le Cha-Cha

04/09/16
St. Casimir, Quebec - La Taverne

04/15/16
Quebec City, Quebec - L'Anti

04/16/16
Carleton, Quebec - Le Naufrageur

04/20/16
Montreal, Quebec - La Tulipe

04/21/16
Ottawa, Ontario - St. Alban's Church

See all upcoming shows

AGENT CONTACT

US BOOKING
Robin Taylor, Inland Empire
robin@inlandempiretouring.com
(718)389-7100

CANADIAN BOOKING (Ex-Quebec)
Adam Countryman The Agency Group
adamcountryman@theagencygroup.com
(416) 368-5599 x 3239

QUEBEC BOOKING
Andre Guerette, The Agency Group
AndreGuerette@theagencygroup.com
office: (514) 940-0616
mobile: (514) 713-6576

Europe/UK:
Belmont Bookings
Bob van Heur
bob@belmontbookings.nl
31 20 61 62 612