The Witness by Suuns

Release date: September 3, 2021
Label: Joyful Noise Recordings

Down to a trio since Max Henry left the band in 2018, Montreal’s Suuns, seem to have taken a new, a bit more relaxed direction with their latest album ‘The Witness.’

Actually, it is one of the tougher approaches in music, one was often taken by the likes of Robert Wyatt, where sparseness and space between notes count as much as the notes themselves. It is the approach that has more to do with jazz and improvisation, the spur of the moment, and where it takes you.

The key there actually is the emotional element and it is the one that takes the conscious part of creating music into more uncharted territories.

Some musicians there come up with a whirlwind of sound, full of hurricane-like excitement, but Suuns obviously flipped the coin here, going more for the slow build-up, letting space and time work in their favor.

As Joe Yarmush explains, “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. I couldn’t technically explain what I meant by that, but the songs needed to settle down. We were basically trying to hold back all the bombastic tendencies and make things sound very subtle.”

Well, it might sound like one very long song, as the band put it, but it is actually an excellent one at that. The one that has more layers than a very large onion. The more you peel it, there are more layers for you to discover and certainly enjoy.

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