Photo: Joseph Yarmush

On Deck: Ben Shemie of Suuns tops up our playlists with some personal picks

Desiderata is Ben Shemie‘s fourth album under his own name – away from SUUNS – but it is hardly a ‘solo’ record. The songwriter has a background in classical composition, and for the majority of this existential mini-epic he is joined by Canada’s celebrated ensemble Molinari String Quartet, who add that extra pique of drama to his unusual and absorbing songs.

Putting his breathing, physiological electronic and textural work going on underneath, Shemie brings it all together into what he describes as “a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist” – but it’s one you’d definitely like to see (if you like tense, dense science fiction).

It’s an undeniably unique listening experience, so we were keen to hear from Shemie about the music that has been making him tick of late. He came back with an expectedly eclectic and tasteful selection. Any of these albums or songs could easily be a jumping-off point into a new avenue of discovery.

Before we get to that, though, enjoy Shemie’s own “The Eye”.

Société Étrange – Chance

[Bongo Joe; 2022]

Always on the lookout for dope French bands, as I’m spending lots of time in Paris these days. Got to do some digging, but there are some gems out there.

This band is kind of new for me, and this album is super cool. It’s weird dub music, with great drums and bass lines and minimal keys. 

Sudan Archives – “Home Maker”

[Stones Throw; 2022]

I love her music, its so deep and groovy, but also a little strange and left field. Seems to change more and more with each release which is exciting. An interesting artist to follow and see what’s next.

Two Shell – “Home”

[Mainframe Audio; 2022]

This band, or group, or solo person – I don’t even know anything about Two Shell – it was sort of a recent discovery for me. I feel like I’m in some sort of video game and I get rewards when I download their music on Bandcamp.

Two Shell seem to sum up the best of an ‘online presence’ as it is super mysterious, but also lots of releases and great great beats. This track in particular is just bonkers.

The Durutti Column – “Future Perfect”

[LTM Recordings; 1996]

An all time classic that I keep coming back to. What a cool band and this late 90s release is so on point. Just a good jam for these strange times.

Ben Shemie’s new album Desiderata is out now on Backward Music/Joyful Noise. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.