Driving through the night on U.S. Route 66, the flat stretch of road between Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Los Angeles—the Purple Heart Highway. On that last leg of the great American journey, you feel the melancholy, the strain, and the high you get from being awake too long. It’s the endless horizon, the sodium arc lights of a truck stop, the slap of windshield wipers, the all-night talk radio, the rumble of the tires on the road, and the smell of burnt coffee before the first light of dawn.
Night Suite represents a new musical exploration for the members of SUSS—the NYC-based quartet of Pat Irwin, Bob Holmes, Gary Leib, and Jonathan Gregg. The EP is a sonic road map pointing the way from the dark of night to a new dawn. After the release of their latest album Promise, in 2020, SUSS longed for a change of scenery; an escape; a trip into an uncharted landscape. As the fathers (or: architects) of the Ambient-country sound, the band built the five tracks of Night Suite with their unique combination of classic Americana instrumentation: pedal steel, National guitar, harmonica, and fiddle, interwoven with loops and synthesizers.
Days after these tracks were completed, SUSS lost original member, synthesizer player, and filmmaker Gary Leib. This loss added a new, personal resonance to the music that Leib had such a large role in creating.
The release of Night Suite on Northern Spy Records represents the first part of a multi-release schedule SUSS has planned over the next 12 months that point the band toward new horizons.