One thing about all this quarantining and distancing is that we’re being forced to find creative ways to do the things we’ve always done, and this is something that music needed… I mean it was desperately needed. Suuns upcoming release Fiction is a great example of how bands can move forward.
The roots of this endeavor reach back to the pre-corona golden era of bands actually meeting face to face and recording their instruments at the same time. In a year of limited contact, these nuggets of the past have been picked up off the control room floor and reworked, reimagined, and in some instances completely rebuilt with new ideas and new approaches. Help from outside the band provided by Jerusalem in My Heart’s Radwan Ghazi Moumneh and Amber Webber of Lightning Dust brings the EP into the future.
There’s a seamlessness to this one. Sonically, the Fiction EP is gritty and ghostly. The opening track, “LOOK” is hypnotic and has an almost ritualistic rhythm and noise that breaks perfectly into “BREATHE”, where chaotic claps on a drum machine mix with a repetitive snare march you forward into what feels like a level of chaos we’re all used to. “PRAY” with its beautiful arpeggiation on the vocals, sets us on a -dare I say it- trip-hop path that carries peacefully through title track “FICTION”. It’s the return to the noise the last two songs bring that really get me. Webber’s calming vocals brighten up the otherwise heavy mouthfeel of “DEATH”. The last track “TROUBLE EVERY DAY” is like an updated version of Fitter Happier by Radiohead, but instead of the prophetic announcement of digitized doom in a dystopian future, the real trouble is something of a modern throwback. Frank Zappa’s voice has become androgynous, lacking the melodic nuance of natural human speech. It’s old threats in new clothes; kinda like being blindsided by the plague when you were busy worrying about tyranny and nationalism.
With Fiction, Suuns remind us that the chaos of 2020 isn’t anything new, and maybe progress isn’t intrinsically linear. Looking at how the band have rethought their creative process and past material, we should take note and stop thinking about the way forward but the way to be better.
Fiction is out October 30 on Joyful Noise Recordings