Black Hole Suspirians
Epic track previews ATX trio’s heavy second record
By Kevin Curtin,
1:10PM, Tue. May 30, 2017
Turns out the skeletal garage shriek, post-punk, and art rock accord of Suspirians’ eponymous 2014 debut merely showed off their first gear. The Austin threepiece throws into overdrive on Ti Bon Ange, a roaring expedition of spellbinding psych punk. Today, singer and guitarist Marisa Pool discusses the transformative new LP.
Austin Chronicle: Ti Bon Ange smashes the template laid out by your first album – longer songs, driving rhythms, and an all-around heavier sonic command. What changed in Suspirians’ creative vision?
Marisa Pool: What you get on the first record is the intention of Suspirians. Most of the songs were written before we were a band and it was a solid foundation for us to grow. You can actually hear the beginnings of the new sound on the first record during the song “Whatcha Do?” At the end of the song, we open up a bit. That was the song that sparked this new sound. It was already in there, hiding.
We really didn’t specifically set out to change all that much. It was a natural progression. We were just continuing to play and write, and trying to find a new drummer. That’s when the muses gifted us Lisa Cameron and it was obvious we were meant to make another record. Her style fit seamlessly with the intuitive and automatic direction [bassist] Stephanie [Demopulos] and I were already going in and are still exploring. So when we got the opportunity to make Ti Bon Ange, we took it and went into the studio with the material we had and an anything goes mentality.
All of the changes that occurred were products of inspiration we had at the time, including Lisa’s drumming and our engineer Evan Kleinecke helping us dial in some guitar and synth sounds. We just tried to take advantage of the access to the studio and also incorporate other influences we have such as noise and experimental music. We all enjoy that, as well as other approaches to the creative process like synchronicity and cut-up method. The experience of making this record was transformative and Ti Bon Ange is a reflection of that. Creatively, we had to open up completely to make it and are a better band now because of it.
AC: Tell us about the title, Ti Bon Ange.
MP: Ti Bon Ange was inspired by a book both Lisa and I read called Divine Horsemen, written by the filmmaker Maya Deren. It’s a voodoo term meaning “little good angel” and is meant to represent a part of your soul that possesses your individuality and willpower. It also leaves the body to make room for you to dream or be possessed during a ritual.
The book is beautiful and the ideas really resonated with me at that time. I felt this record could represent that idea – a space for a listener to be possessed by imagination and allow themselves to emerge as something else for a while, not unlike a mambo priestess dancing to voodoo drums. It’s the creative energy that lives both inside and outside of you, crossing between the planes of consciousness, opening a door to the divine dimensions.
AC: We’re premiering “Black Holes,” the album’s epic and melodic centerpiece. What can you tell us about it?
MP: “Black Holes” is a song about decay, emptiness, acceptance, and submission – reveling in the mysteries of dark energy and the power of surrendering to one’s insignificance. Ascension. If MC5, Neil Young, Joy Division, and Sun Ra had a song baby, it would be “Black Holes.”
Ti Bon Ange arrives June 9 on Austin’s Super Secret Records. Suspirians punctuate its release with a show that same Friday at Electric Church alongside Big Bill, Soaked, and Soda Lilies.