SUUNS share 3-D “C-Thru” video, tell us the inspirations behind upcoming album
Montreal's SUUNS will be back on September 3 with The Witness, and they've just shared a new single from it. "C-Thru" is a dark, slinky groover with lots of atmosphere. “A lot of the slower and more delicate songs on this record required quite some finesse, and after all that careful work we needed a good romp,” says Liam O’Neill. “SUUNS at our best is always secretly a little bit ‘fun,’ so when Ben writes an uncomplicated song with a good melody, we try not to overthink it - we try and get the sound of us having fun with it on tape."
The video for "C-Thru" was made by Jared Raab and Luca Tarantini (AOK), and is an "autostereogram" designed to be viewed in one of two ways: using either the "crossed-eye" (convergence) method or "parallel-eye" (divergence) method. "‘C-Thru’ was a song that seemed to ask for an abstract and difficult image," says Raab. "Perhaps we were feeling exhausted from having to see everything on a screen, but the experience of making the video was a lot like viewing it. We were slowly burying ourselves under a layer after layer of static textures. We live in a world mediated more and more by screens and we started to see the song as representing something more meaningful, out of sight, under the surface. It's quite literally a trick of the eyes. It's an image underneath another image.” You can watch the video below.
Meanwhile, we wanted to know more about the album and asked the band to tell us about the music that inspired The Witness. Liam O’ Neill and Joe Yarmush came back with a list of five things each, including records by Talk Talk, Robert Wyatt, John Coltrane, My Bloody Valentine, Sade, Spiritualized and more, and one musical instrument. You can check out their influences list, complete with commentary, below.
SUUNS - 10 ALBUMS THAT INFLUENCED 'THE WITNESS'
FIVE FROM LIAM:
Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
Maybe it's the relatively recent death of Mark Hollis, but I seemed to have noticed a renewed interest in late-period Talk Talk among musicians. Those who know know. After being on the road for almost ten years straight, playing down our set night after night, the idea of making yet another record of "a bunch of songs" felt exhausting and rote, and so it was this album that got referenced a lot when we were talking about how we wanted "The Witness" to feel - all of a piece, spacious and shadowy.
Fleetwood Mac - "Albatross"
The intro to "Go To My Head" is a pretty obvious reference to this song, and it was one of the first songs that started to come together for The Witness, setting the scene. We released an early version of this one on a split 7" with the legendary Blonde Redhead. Ha. We're so lucky.
Robert Wyatt - "Shipbuilding"
Really feel like we're showing how the sausage is made here. Uhhh. Just listen to this and then listen to "Third Stream." Robert Wyatt I think has the perfect male voice, it is so beautiful. Actually, we weren't thinking about Robert Wyatt explicitly when we were working on the record, but after it was finished the influence seemed pretty apparent. I guess you are what you eat.
Sade - "Lover's Rock"
Yeah. "Lover's Rock" is so minimal and spacious, you can really hear every instrument doing what it does, just letting the song unfold. It's elegant and relaxed, but the beat is so damn hard too. I think that we thought a lot about Sade when we were recording "Clarity." Obvs.
Not the band called The Bongos, but rather just: the bongos. I think there is bongos on almost every song on The Witness. Bongos are kind of a warm party instrument, but if you play them like our friend does at 1:17 in this here vid, they are skeletal and kind of lonely sounding. He gets it. There were a pair set up in the middle of the studio for the entire recording of this album, and they always seemed to find a place as a kind of finishing touch.
FIVE FROM JOE:
Says Joe, "Despite it being impossible to come up with a complete list of 'influences,' I've noted a few. I don't know how much they influence Suuns in any way more than just walking down the street would, but these are some memorable records I recently thought of. Peace and Love."
My Bloody Valentine - MBV
I think this is the best MBV record. Super layered, crazy arrangements, a thick sound that only this band can make. A very focused vision it seems on the final product. I find myself listening to this one the most. Yes, I bought the reissue. Yes I own the first release pressing. I keep buying MBV reissues. It's all [FACS frontman] Brian Case and I talk about.
Spiritualized - Fucked Up Inside
A live record from this band. They are incredible on this album. It takes its time and crescendos when needed in all the best possible ways. Horns and organs and backup vox. Great cover on the album also. Live albums really show how good a band is or can be. I love watching youtube videos of bands live and listening to live records... I'll have you know.
John Coltrane - Live at the Village Vanguard
This album is one of my all time favourite albums. The sound of it is captivating. Maybe one of the greatest opening riffs to a record ever. I don’t purport to be able to dissect jazz in any intellectual way and yet I believe this to be one of the greatest jazz records ever. It got Coltrane a lot of heat from jazz aficionados. Which sounds like a nightmare to me in any era of music, but he was just so ahead of everyone, he basically was like “fuck off.”
Michel Banabila - Marilli
This is a fantastic album by the dutch composer. His first? I don’t know. I got a vinyl copy from this great label in Toronto, Séance Centre. They do reissues as well as new releases. Everything is amazing from them, including this early 80’s record. Absolutely floored me the first time I heard it. Full of samples and amazing rhythms. Check it.
Cat Power - Moon Pix
This is the first new release on vinyl I ever purchased. I still love this record. Lo-fi brilliance. I love the drum machines, drums as well as the guitar sound and playing. The vocals sound really “close” when you listen and I don’t know why. Chan Marshall has a really quiet powerful voice which has oft-been-imitated-never-duplicated. It’s a vulnerable record that hit me hard when I first listened. Captured the 90's indie scene pretty well.