Tuesday, January 9, 2018

With new vision and cred, avant-pop act Suno Deko makes a spellbinding return

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 10:06 AM

THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Suno Deko, Will’s Pub, Jan. 6
click to enlarge Suno Deko at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Suno Deko at Will's Pub
The last time I saw avant-pop act Suno Deko was a purely chance encounter almost exactly three years ago back in 2014 over at Uncle Lou’s. I came to see a weirdo local improv act (Gnutzak) but ended up captured most by Suno Deko’s performance. At the time, it was a then-nascent project by Atlanta musician David Courtright. Now, he finally returns as an NYC-based artist with a new eponymous debut album that sports guests from noteworthy acts like Hundred Waters and Mutual Benefit. His music enchanted me then and did so again, this time in some different ways.
click to enlarge Suno Deko at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Suno Deko at Will's Pub
That first time, I was astonished at how complete he was as a solo loop act, juggling keyboard, drum, violin, guitar and sleigh bells to full results. This time, any consideration of gimmick or method wasn’t even in play. More than anything, the primary presence now is his vocal expression.
click to enlarge Suno Deko at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Suno Deko at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Suno Deko at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Suno Deko at Will's Pub
In fact, this latest performance had generally spare instrumentation: some keyboards here, an acoustic guitar there, only on up to some accompaniment by Lush Agave’s Alisha Erao.
click to enlarge Suno Deko at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Suno Deko at Will's Pub
Much of the set’s arrangement, however, was as intimately direct as listening to a piano man. But because of his more cultivated voice – a thing of air and grace – it never felt austere. With singing like that in the spotlight, all else is just setting and dress.
click to enlarge Suno Deko and Alisha Erao at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Suno Deko and Alisha Erao at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Suno Deko and Alisha Erao at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Suno Deko and Alisha Erao at Will's Pub
Now operating with loftier restraint, Suno Deko is stepping into a tradition of high artistry and out onto the queer indie vanguard alongside artists like Perfume Genius. And it’s with the sense that this is a blossom that’s only starting to bloom.
click to enlarge Suno Deko at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Suno Deko at Will's Pub

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This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com


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