The new album from SUUNS, The Witness, marks a more downtempo change in direction for the band. The spikier edges of earlier albums like Felt and Hold/Still have been sanded down and through there is still some grit in these digital grooves it has been mixed into a more mellow electronic confection. Drum machines thrum and pulse rather more than jab and scrape, guitars wash around like mercury, keyboards coax and caress with fewer grated arpeggios, and the vocals, while still treated with a synthesised wobble, are delivered like a late night call from a lover. Shemie from the band says about the album:

There’s always this restraint in SUUNS: the question of ‘how long can we hold off?  I think it’s beautiful that way because it always brings out something unexpected. But if you’re willing to stick with us – at a show or through our music in general – it will pay off. It might take a while to get there, but we will drop a beat for you eventually. I love that we’ve been able to stick to the minimal side of things, and just let it breathe.

It was a conscious decision to make the album sound like one song. We wanted to calm down a bit, even during the mixing process: our notes were simply ‘you have to settle down’

The Witness has the feel of a rainforest about it, fecund and humid rather than chilled by the polar electronic winds that have blown through earlier releases. Canopy sounds are threaded throughout the album and there is a hazy warmth to tracks like the opener ‘Third Stream’, ‘Timebender’ ‘Clarity’ and ‘Go To My Head’. It’s a direction that works very well and this new chilled SUUNS is heady and engrossing, more calming rather than coruscating, and an album it is easy to bask in and soak up some heat.

SUUNS Socials: Facebook | Website | Twitter

See SUUNS live:

24.10.2021 Oslo, London (UK)

25.10.2021 Oslo, London (UK)

26.10.2021 Classic Grand, Glasgow (UK)

27.10.2021 White Hotel, Manchester (UK)

Review by Paul F Cook

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