Suuns – Images Du Futur

suuns One of my favourite albums of the year, one of my favourite new discoveries of the year band-wise and probably my favourite band I saw play at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, and yet they released Images du Futur in the first week of March and it has taken me this bloody long to write about Suuns. Don’t ask why, maybe there’s been too much local stuff to concentrate on, or maybe this is just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes, but don’t let my tardiness fool you – I think this lot are bloody awesome.

I suppose you could sum this album up as a sort of dark, trancey electronica mixed with hypnotic, shoegazey guitar rock. It’s not rough or lo-fi at all, but it definitely plays on thrum and repetitive textures to induce a sort of sway in the listener where the eyes roll back and the head tilts and you feel the euphoria you get when music just washes over you in waves.

The outstanding Edie’s Dream (embedded below) was the first tune I heard and it has a definite wafty dream-pop feel to it, which didn’t necessarily prepare me for the darker aspects of this album. Opener Powers of Ten is much more aggressive and driven, and perhaps it took me a while to adjust to the more guitary songs, when what I had been expecting might have been more of a blissed-out sound.

If I were to call anything to mind when listening to this it might, surprisingly, be some of the early nineties stuff where guitar bands started to be pulled more towards dance music. Bands like James and (whisper it) U2 have produced some fine moments in this kind of territory, and perhaps after British bands have spent so much time brilliantly ripping off American indie-rock from the early nineties, there are bands here and there in North America who are returning the favour.

It’s not all successful, I have to confess. With anything like this there is always the tricky subject of melody in an album heavily based on texture and rhythm, but there are times – such as Bambi for example – where the hypnotic hummability doesn’t quite kick in, and the tune feels a bit like a mid-tempo plodder, to be brutal. But in general these moments are few and far between, and Suuns have produced an album of properly gripping stuff. You can buy it here on Secretly Canadian, and I highly recommend that you do.