Hold/Still, the third studio album from Suuns, is an enigmatic thing: an eerily beautiful, meticulously played suite of music that embraces opposites and makes a virtue of cognitive dissonance.
It is a record that does not give up its secrets easily. The 11 songs within are simultaneously psychedelic, but austere; sensual, but cold; organic, but electronic; tense sometimes to the brink of mania, but always retaining perfect poise and control.
From the beginning, Suuns (you pronounce it "soons", and it translates as "zeroes" in Thai) have sought to do things differently.
They formed in Montreal 2007 and the group's first two records, 2010's Zeroes QC and 2012's Polaris Prize-nominated Images Du Futur - both released on Secretly Canadian - were immediate critical hits.
Suuns soon found themselves part of a late '00s musical renaissance in the city, alongside fellow groups like The Besnard Lakes, Islands and Land Of Talk.
Still, at the same time, Suuns feel remote from the big, baroque ensembles and apocalyptic orchestras that typify the Montreal scene.
After two records produced by their friend Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes at his Montreal studio Breakglass, Suuns decided Hold/Still demanded a different approach.
In May 2015, they decamped to Dallas, Texas to work with Grammy- winning producer John Congleton (St Vincent, The War On Drugs, Sleater- Kinney).
For three intense weeks, the four recorded in Congleton's studio by day, the producer driving them to capture perfect live takes with virtually no overdubbing.
The result is undoubtedly Suuns' most focused album to date, the sound of a band working in mental lockstep, crafting a guitar music that feels unbeholden to clear traditions or genre brackets.
Hold/Still is an album which derives its eerie power from simmering tensions and strange, stark juxtapositions, and in doing so, directs rock music down a new, unventured path.