SUUNS are a Canadian three piece signed to Secretly Canadian and their new six track EP ‘FICTION’ is out today. They have already released a couple of singles to give us a taster of the EP including ‘PRAY’ which I reviewed previously.

Liam O’Neil of SUUNS explains the reason why the song wasn’t included in the bands 2016 album ‘Hold/Still’, “the band recorded PRAY in 2015 with our mate John Congleton. We loved it. It was the best song we recorded for Hold/Still, but it didn’t make the cut, probably because we loved it so much and thought we had an even better version of it in us”.

He goes on to explain

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”.

So does PRAY feels different to Hold/Still? I said it my initial review for PRAY that it feels more joyous, as it wouldn’t require anybody in the band to get into the same dark places required to make ‘Hold/Still’. On hearing the EP in full I experienced the record differently.  It felt pious, almost like your witnessing a sacred religious ceremony in a long forgotten but seemingly rediscovered Amazonian tribe.

I said in my review of PRAY that there was still an element of residual bleakness but now that feels like a falsehood as it feels fuller with the rest of the EP wrapped tightly around it. It remains a sonic blast, but there’s now a febrile feel to the music on the EP. My one criticism is that to me that ‘TROUBLE EVERY DAY’ feels like it should have been the opening track, the inaugral gambit to the story – its drips with angst from the battle within life’s struggle.

Instead the EP starts with the chant like ‘LOOK’ and carries you into the Middle Eastern influenced ‘BREATHE’ giving the music an otherworldly feel, a transcendent quality, the spiritual vibe is tangible by this point. It saunters into PRAY and the act is done, the sonic drug, the Ayahuasca to the rest of the EP is sipped, swallowed and consumed. There is no turning back.

The come down starts with ‘FICTION’; it’s Ozric Tentacles like escapism leads to the spikey reality of ‘death’ which is beautifully entwined to the haunting voice of Amber Webber leading to that final track ‘TROUBLE EVERY DAY’.

And maybe my criticism here is flawed? Maybe that’s why ‘TROUBLE EVERY DAY’ is the final track. Maybe it’s a distinctly pessimistic record? Maybe it’s the come down, the Sunday morning and not the Friday night. Is that not as valid if not a more valid an experience, and somewhat more inevitable and real? The yin, to the potency and ecstasy of the Saturday nights’ yang? It’s the breakdown. The depression. The seeping resentment. A call to arms.      

Listen to it when?

Play it when you’ve got time to play the entire EP. Surely randomly selecting parts of it just couldn’t work as individual pieces of music or art in my view. Listen to it in the dark for best results. Other than that my advice is use it for any reason you see fit. Escapism, accompaniment for your choice of evening, redemption? It’s entirely on you but the music is versatile, deliberate and could be just as soul affirming as it could be soul destroying.

John Frazer