The Breaks

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On their seventh long player The Breaks – their second for Joyful Noise Recordings – SUUNS are lost in limbo. For some artists, being caught in flux may result in songs that are either naive, out of touch or both, simply as a consequence of being cut off from human civilization. But for SUUNS, a band who have grown more than comfortable in the oblique and the intermediate, it actually had the opposite effect. The Breaks marks the Montreal experimental rock outfit’s most emotionally resonant and tonally rich collection of music to date.

The trio of Ben Shemie, Joseph Yarmush and Liam O’ Neill leans more zealously than ever into their pop instincts. Yet remarkably enough, with that same dauntless abandon, SUUNS have mined a more extreme sonic palette this time around, one that stretches far beyond their core fundamentals as a band. The Breaks finds Shemie, O’Neill and Yarmush gleefully experimenting with loops, synths, samples and MIDI-instruments like a post-millennial Tangerine Dream messing with downtempo triphop beats. O’ Neill took point in the producer’s chair for The Breaks, arranging, structuring and editing many of Shemie and Yarmush’s ideas from sporadic rehearsal sessions into Pro Tools, reimagining the songs over and over during a two-year time frame.

Forged between countless plane rides, road trips, van tours and text threads, The Breaks became a product of endurance and a lot of trial-and-error. It’s a record forged in tight fissions of freedom, where spells of whispered intimacy – like on the stunning ballad “Doreen” – are allowed to branch out into the vast glacial dreamscapes of the album’s majestic title track. It captures SUUNS at their most panoramic, curious and exuberant: a constant relay of being adrift and enlightened anew, geared up to eleven. And guess what: the wheels keep on spinning.


Vanishing Point
Fish On A String
Road Signs And Meanings
The Breaks

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