$15

SUUNS @ Lodge Room Highland Park

Lodge Room Presents
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Suuns

Graham Van Pelt

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Lodge Room Highland Park

104 North Avenue 56

Los Angeles, CA 90042

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SUUNS
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About this Event

You can hear freedom flowing through the 11 tracks on Felt. Self-produced then mixed to audiophile perfection by St Vincent producer John Congleton, it maintains a pleasing economy, the informality of self-production has enabled Suuns to explore bright new vistas – the hypnotic future-pop percolations of X-ALT or Watch You, Watch Me’s organic/synthetic rush of elevatory rhythms and the ecstatic, Harmonia-meets Game Boy patterns. Never mere fusionists, it’s now pointless trying to decode their sonic signature as ‘dance music that rocks’ or vice versa. Ben Shemie has a newfound vocal range and a penchant for buoyant melodies, showcased in such wholly unexpected delights as the yearning lilt of Make It Real and sax-smoothed Peace And Love, which sincerely comes on like a post-punk Sade. The suitably outré image for Felt - a hand reaching out to touch a giant latex black inflated ball - breaks with Suuns’ earlier darkness for a more optimistic ambience. The record’s playful atmosphere is echoed by its double meaning title.

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SUUNS has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket sold goes to support Youth Speaks and their work through arts education, youth development, and civic engagement, to challenge young people to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of societal change youthspeaks.org.

Graham Van Pelt

“I’d like to be as un-mysterious as I possibly can,” Graham Van Pelt says. He’s about to release Time Travel, his first record in the four years since he moved from Montreal to Toronto, and he’s no longer Miracle Fortress, or Inside Touch, or any of the aliases he’s used to record over the years. He’s just Graham Van Pelt.

With the perspective of leaving a longtime home, of watching old friends change and familiar places become unrecognizable, came a recommitment to an emotional honesty in Van Pelt’s songwriting. Time Travel’s eight songs are a tangle of friendships and feelings. Moving backwards and forwards in time, they occupy a space of elegant melancholy.

Immersing himself in the work of house music legends like Larry Heard, Vincent Floyd and Maurizio and the fragile disco of Arthur Russell, along with contemporaries like Jessy Lanza and Kelly Lee Owens, Van Pelt built the album from the bottom up, rooting every track in the crude sequencer of the Roland SH-101 synth, a decades-old dance music totem. The result are melodies that are simple but affecting, anchored to deep, wandering basslines. Time Travels was engineered by twin brothers Mark and Matt Thibideau, whose techno roots deepened the grooves throughout the record.

There’s a comfort to operating in the world of dance music, which is, in Van Pelt’s words, more of a “team sport” than the competitive atmosphere of indie rock. “I feel like one person participating in a community,” he says, “and less of a person trying to rise above.”  The album is also Van Pelt’s first release on Arbutus, which he describes as his “dream outcome” for the record. “Their catalog intersects at a place that feels like home to me,” he says. “Music for late night, atmospheric music, really honest and unvarnished truthful stuff that never compromises.”

Time Travel is a renewal of Van Pelt’s vows with dance music, and with the genre’s pulse of synthesized melancholy. It’s a heartrending rush, as emotionally direct as a sweaty, jaw-clenching 3am hug.

-Mark Slutsky

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Performers

Suuns

Graham Van Pelt

Date and Time

Location

Lodge Room Highland Park

104 North Avenue 56

Los Angeles, CA 90042

View Map

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