September 15th, 2011 - Branx, Portland, OR Suuns -- which, for the confused, and for me prior to MusicFestNW is pronounced "soons" -- play exactly the kind of dark dancey art rock that works for me. The Montreal band's ability to bridge pop and dance...

bass drum of death Garage rock junkies apply within. Bass Drum Of Death's pure and unabated psych rock is sure to catch some people by surprise at SXSW 2011. Their new material is far more tuneful and engaging than their original...

If you're expecting a traditional dance party from Australia's My Disco, you're expecting wrong. My Disco takes the tasteful, throbbing repetition used so well by bands like Clinic -- or more recently, Suuns -- and amps up the percussive elements tenfold, while deconstructing the songwriting into minimal bits. My Disco is the drum circle, Psychic Ills' version of dancey art rock, a meandering band that has little or no concern for traditional songwriting structures. Most of the tracks on Little Joy -- which sounds far from "joyful," by the way -- can be broken down into a few notes and sounds.

Listen to "Closer" - DOWNLOAD MP3

The album art for SUUNS newest album, Zeroes QC, serves as an appropriate visual introduction to the Montreal band's music. Featuring a high-contrast black-and-white photograph of a woman dressed in a glitter top, one can just barely make out outlines of trees against the dark background, as their silhouettes drape ambiguously over her face and body.

If SUUNS' brand of mysterious art rock were to take on a visual aesthetic, it would certainly look like this -- living in monochromes and being sprinkled occasionally with bright flashes which hint at beauty in deep places. Obvious aspects of their music -- incoherent mumblings over grinding basslines and electronics -- embrace the darkness, while lighter guitar elements and steady beats seem to offset that heaviness. The resulting sound is brooding and danceable, and singer and guitarist Ben Shemie's own description of SUUNS' music might be the most appropriate visual and poetic accompaniment.
"There is a kind of sense of falling backward that I think the songs conjure," says Shemie. "Or blindly driving your car into a wall. A sense of sadness in all the amazing things in the world."

"We are definitely influenced by visual art, and I suppose art of all kinds," he continues. "On a conceptual [and] intellectual [level,] many of our friends work in that medium, whether it be film or painting or whatever, so there is definitely an interest in what they are doing and what trends are happening in the visual art world in general... "You can definitely draw parallels to composition in a visual format versus a musical format. They draw upon the same tastes and impulses. None of our songs are 'based' on a film or picture or whatnot, but in some cases, I hear our songs as little plays, or films."

One look into SUUNS' own interpretation into their music lies in their video for "Up Past The Nursery," which was directed by Ben Shemie and Petros Kolyvas. The video is slow and complemplative, not unlike the song. Alternating between shots of the band standing idly in the woods and being suspended motionless in watery atmospheres, the video's subtle off-kilter color treatments and occasional overlays of fireworks serve as bursts of action in stillness.