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Album Review

Like their peers and fellow Canadians Stars, Faunts examine relationships and romance with their hearts open for the world to examine. But where Stars rarely stray far from tweeville and an early-2000s indie aesthetic, Faunts straddle many different musical genres, sometimes with great success and sometimes somewhat awkwardly. New wave of the 1980s, the pop electronica of the Postal Service or any Ben Gibbard project for that matter, the dreamy dance vibes of Junior Boys, the dynamics explorations of bands like Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky, and the film and TV scores of Jan Hammer all crop up as influences on Feel. Love. Thinking. Of. Thankfully, not every song features all of these influences, though there's a certain hit-or-miss factor at play when the brilliant, emotional pop of a song like "Input" resides on the same album as the cheesy 1980s-style car wreck of "Das Malefitz," which squanders a decent impersonation of Michael Brook's infinite guitar to become an unintentionally goofy TV score knockoff. "I Think I'll Start a Fire" is another example of a song that might ape the 1980s perfectly but lacks a purpose on an album that's not meant as a joke. But on "Input," "So Far Away," and "Explain" things fall into place beautifully, particularly because one of the band's vocalists has a voice reminiscent of a-ha's Morten Harket. The pairing of that voice with the group's different genre examinations makes for interesting listening. It's hard not to get caught up in the percolating drive and electro-swoosh of the introspective "Input," with its skittering mid-bass sounds and ringing Johnny Marr-like guitars. The two excellent closing tracks also feature fine chiming guitars: "So Far Away," with its pretty vocals and nods to Mogwai and Brook; and "Explain," which marries the musicality of the Stockholm Monsters, the Ocean Blue, and Kitchens of Distinction. With high points so stellar, it's not that hard to look past the Tangerine Dream-like excursions that don't pan out. Feel. Love. Thinking. Of. is a decent enough album as a whole that sometimes falters but features fine moments of brilliance when the Batke brothers filter out their cheesier influences.


Formed: Edmonton, Edmonton, Alberta, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Embracing a moody, introspective pop sound that's smart, tuneful, forceful, and sweetly melancholy all at once, Faunts were formed in 2000 by Tim Batke and his brother Steven Batke, who hail from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. With Tim handling guitar, keyboards, and vocals while Steven contributed vocals and guitar, Faunts became a trio with the addition of percussionist Paul Arnusch. After Joel Hitchcock signed on as the group's keyboard player and Scott Gallant became their bassist, Faunts set out...
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Feel.Love.Thinking.of. Remixes. - EP, Faunts
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