First appeared on IGGY: July 28, 2010
Super fun Tokyo-based rockers The Suzan started as a bedroom project between sisters Rie [keyboards and vocals] and Saori [guitar and vocals] who never really planned to play shows or be a band. But their awesomeness was recognized and they found themselves with a record contract. Faced with the necessity of playing shows, the sisters enlisted their friends Nico and Ikue, and The Suzan was born! We’ve read that the name of the band is based on the sisters’ shared childhood nickname. It sounds like it might have been confusing when they were growing up, but it’s a great name for a band now. The Suzan’s brand of rock has both real garage grease and ’60s girl group grace in its multi-hued heart, but the quartet rolls it out with a playful sense of experimentation and the sparseness of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s art school boom boom. (Like the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, The Suzan also likes to perform in creative costumes.) They are unlikely protégés for a guy like Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John, whose band seems kind of fey by comparison. But The Suzan has covered PB&J live. And the Swedish indie pop cat took a liking to the group — they managed to convince him to produce their debut album via Myspace message! Their album is charmingly titled Golden Week for the Poco Poco Beat. It’s out on Fool’s Gold/Downtown.
The Suzan is a band that speaks about the work of Chicks on Speed and Au Revoir Simone with equal enthusiasm. They say they feel influenced by jazz, dance music, pop, and rock. But that makes it sound like their music is all over the place, which it isn’t. Though they have a lot of pop appeal, we like to see them as part of the grand tradition of back-to-basics rock from Japan that includes Guitar Wolf and the also all-girl 220.127.116.11.’s. We could even see them performing alongside Japan’s Slits-influenced experimental duo Afrirampo. Some reviewers even classify them as pop punk or garage punk on first listen.
Photo by Mamiko Miyakoshi