Suno Deko

Suno Deko is the alias of poet and experimental-pop musician David Courtright. It is the story of the shifting dynamics of long-lasting love, of feeling like an outsider in your own body and the world, of fear and grace, of patience, of difficult choices, and of longing and vulnerability. His self-titled LP is out on October 13 via Elestial Sound. 

The record was written and hammered out on a relentless year of touring with Julie Byrne, which took the two of them across the continent twice over to just about every DIY space imaginable: a New Orleans puppetry theater, a geodesic dome in rural Missouri, a Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost in frigid Missoula, and dives, punk houses, basements, and everything else in between. It was a journey that deeply informed both of their current records, as well as the blossoming of a deep and lasting friendship between the two. The LP was recorded in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and in a cabin at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. Engineered primarily in Atlanta by Ben Price, Suno Deko features contributions from many of David’s friends in his music community, including Nicole Miglis and Zach Tetreault of Hundred Waters, who appear on “Swan Song,” as well as Julie Byrne (“Alone with You”), Jake Falby of Mutual Benefit (“Falling In,” “Altar,” and “Swan Song”), and others. For the vocal recordings, David returned to the church he grew up in, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, which was always a vibrantly open and inclusive space for him growing up as a queer boy in the South. The sonic personality of that rich spiritual space, and the enthusiastic support of his openly gay rector, lend the recordings a distinctive richness and warmth.

The name ‘Suno Deko’ stems from David’s experience working for an Indian painter in New Delhi, India. What he believed were terms of endearment for him were actually the artist’s commands to him to listen(suno) and look (deko). These came to represent reminders to be open, present, and attentive. Today, Suno Deko is a call to vulnerability, to living openly with love, fear, and free expression in a world that still prizes rigid notions of masculinity. It is an extension of his own process of discovery and acceptance of his identity as a queer body in a world that doesn’t always make space for it. His self-titled debut album, forthcoming in the fall, trades the tightly-wound looping structures of his 2014 Thrown Color EP for more lush, orchestrated arrangements. Originally from Atlanta, and now residing in Brooklyn, he’s toured with Hundred Waters, Mutual Benefit, Julie Byrne, and How to Dress Well. He will be touring his album nationally this year, starting with his return in May to the Form: Arcosanti festival, which he played in its inaugural year in 2014.


IMAGES: To download, click above. Photo credit: Tonje Thilesen.


“Swan Song”
“So Long”

Elestial Sound