Hold/Still the third studio album from Suuns, 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. A natural step on from their two previous albums, 2011’s Zeroes QC & 2013’s Images du Futur, and yet a marked departure, Hold/Still is a cerebral exploration of how to take live and analogue instruments and create a deeply textured “electronic” record. In May 2015, they decamped to Dallas, Texas to work with Grammy-winning producer John Congleton and for three intense weeks they recorded by day and stewed in their cramped apartment by night. “It felt like we were on a mission – looking for something to take us out of our element, or that might seep into our music”, say the band. Hold/Still will be released April 15, 2016 on Secret City Records (in Canada) and Secretly Canadian (Rest of world).
The first single, ‘Translate’, is one of the defining songs of the album – the sound of a band working in mental lockstep, crafting guitar music that feels unbeholden to clear traditions or genre brackets. It is a song that the band have been reworking for years, and was one of the last songs to be finished for the album, and yet, perhaps, defines the record perfectly. The synthesizers are the work of Max Henry, an obsessive who builds his own patches and confesses to using cranky or budget equipment – “[good gear] does all the work for you, and that’s not always fun”.
Accompanying the song is the first of a trilogy of videos for the album (the second and third installments will be launched ahead of the record release). Shot by Charles-André Coderre, a long term collaborator of the band, he says “’Translate’, the first music video of a triptych series, is an incandescent vision. It was shot with thermal imagery. The concept was simple: film the band in their rehearsal space and transfigure the footage into something unusual and gorgeous. We experimented the different meanings of the word “translate” and explored a new film language by shooting what the human eye can’t see”.
Also released today is the Dark Sky ‘Psych’ remix of ‘Translate’ – the first of a number of remixes that will be launched alongside tracks from the album. This one takes ‘Translate’s repetitive, krautrock-like rhythms and squeezes them into a tighter, mesmeric arrangement. Says Dark Sky “We really liked the psyched out sounds and sonics from the original track which sounded vintage but also forward thinking. We were inspired to build on this vibe.”
Listen to Dark Sky’s remix here
Preorder the new album on iTunes
Suuns will be touring throughout the world on release and are pleased to announce the following tour dates today!
March 13 // Azores Island, PT // Tremor Festival
April 7 // Saint-Thérèse QC // Bar Le Cha-Cha
April 9 // Saint-Casimir QC // La Taverne
April 15 // Quebec QC // L’Anti
April 16 // Carleton QC // Le Naufrageur
April 20 // Montreal, QC // La Tulipe
April 21 // Ottawa ON // St Albans Church
April 22 // Toronto ON // Adelaide Hall
May 19 // Berlin DE // Berghain
May 20 // Amsterdam NL // Melkweg
May 21 // Lille FR // Grand Mix
May 22 // Brussels BE // La Nuit De Botanique Festival
May 24 // London, UK // ICA
May 27 // Neustrelitz, DE // Immergut Festival
May 28 // KleinReifling, AT // Seewiesen Festival
May 30 // Paris, FR // TBA
June 1 // Barcelona, ES // Primavera Sound
June 5 // Mannheim, DE // Maifield Derby Festival
June 8 // Rome, IT // Monk
June 9 // Ravenna, IT // Beaches Brew Festival