Suuns are back. In March of this year their fourth full-length album will be released on Secretly Canadian. The album is called Felt, and it promises to have more swagger than previous offerings. Leading the pack of new material is “Watch You, Watch Me”. With the new track is a new video, directed by Russ Murphy.
Have you ever shaken a soda bottle to feel the tension of the plastic become tighter; to feel the gas inside the liquid swell and push the container outwards of itself? There is a small, exquisite apprehension to this action – it’s basic chemistry, but it’s also exciting. You know an explosion, some kind of release, will be required to remove this abundance of energy – but ultimately you know you’re safe. The bottle is in good hands; your hands. You can unscrew the top, spray sticky froth everywhere. Or you can ride the tension a little longer – knowing the good stuff inside will be yours eventually. Wait, are we talking about soda or are we talking about Suuns’ “Watch You, Watch Me”? Either way – it’s pretty much the same effect.
The swelling energy of this track is electric. Similar but also very different to the tone of 2016’ album, Hold/Still this new offering feels more self-aware, more capable of manipulating the natural forces that surround the band. Mastery is happening.
On drums, Liam O’Neil doesn’t as much lay down a rhythm as build a sonic foundation on which everything else vibrates. The density of percussive tones allows the tempo to shape the melody in a very pleasing, disorientating way. We’ll use the soda analogy again: it’s like two fluids are being introduced to each other to produce some kind of frothing substance. Bleeps, drones, splashes – all that stuff we know of Suuns is here – but it feels like a clearer description of their desired direction. So, if you love Suuns – you’re going to love this shit. It may well be the most exciting Suuns track we’ve heard.
The video is a sneaky one. Splashes of color, kaleidoscopic swirls and a series of characters whose faces stare out at you – it’s all here. The accomplishment of Russ Murphy’s work is this: Usually a piece of art is designed to convince the audience that the world in depiction exists parallel to the real world. We join stories, getting a snapshot of events in a process that is happening whether we, the audience, observe or not. – That’s the usual trick of the artist. What Murphy does is have his artwork stare out at us, the viewers. The track, and the faces of this video – they demand something from the audience. Let’s use that word ‘tension’ again. There’s loads of tension here, and it’s great. Murphy should be set free with the keys to Quebec.
Suuns are back, and that is great news.
For “Watch You, Watch Me” we award Suuns 10 twitching eyeballs. They’ll know what we mean.
HURRY – LISTEN – SUUNS
IMAGE BY JOSEPH YARMUSH