Organ Thing of The Day: A SUSS Surprise Release Heat Haze EP out today (June 3, 2022) via Northern Spy Records, a slice of rather pastoral ambient country music so it seems..
“SUSS – the NYC-based trio of Pat Irwin, Bob Holmes, and Jonathan Gregg – today announced the surprise release of Heat Haze, a new EP representing the next stop of their ambient cross-country road trip begun on their previous EP, Night Suite. Alongside the announcement, SUSS shared a music video for “Heat Haze,” a departure that reflects both the mood and intention of the new EP. Though SUSS haven’t completely abandoned the imagery of the Southwest, the group are now integrating their NYC roots, playing off the similarities and differences between the two landscapes and stretching the definitions of both “ambient” and “country.”
“After finishing Night Suite, the first song we began working on was called Heat Haze, and from that point we had no doubt where the next batch of songs were headed — the pulse and shimmer of heat waves on an asphalt road at high noon.” –Bob Holmes
“We knew we wanted to keep the spirit of the SUSS sound but we had to take it to some new places. We pushed the collaboration between the three of us and took it straight into the heat haze.” –Pat Irwin
“Heat Haze is about just passing through from here to there, trying to keep a breeze when the air is heavy and still and everything is tingling, the hot blacktop unspooling all the way to the horizon. There’s some snakes over there, too, and you can see lava through the cracks in the asphalt sometimes.” –Jonathan Gregg
The whole album, the whole rather beautiful thing, can be found here via Bandcamp, or more details here). Heat Haze sounds like something rather special, deliciously expansive, big in so many ways, alive with the possibilities of time and space and the prospect of big skies and all the time you need to never quite get there (which is of course just what you want on a journey like this). Beautifully crafted, deliciously produced, everything as damn neat perfect as you want it to be…
“On Night Suite, SUSS led the listener through a dark desert night in the American Southwest, and Heat Haze picks up where that adventure left off – in the blistering light of a new day, where heat waves rise from the ribbon of asphalt unfolding ahead. The architects of the “ambient country” sound, SUSS built the five tracks of Heat Haze with their unique combination of classic Americana instrumentation: pedal steel, National guitar, harmonica, mandolin, baritone guitar and harmonium, interwoven with loops and synthesizers. These tracks, like Night Suite, have personal resonance for the surviving members of SUSS, as they contain music (most notably the title track Heat Haze) recorded with Gary Leib, one of the band’s original members, who unexpectedly passed away soon after these tracks were completed. This represents his — and the band’s — continued search for an elusive dream on the shimmering horizon”.