10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Faunts refine their contemporary synth-pop sound on their second full-length release, texturizing it with a vaporous sheen of shoegazer haze, while sculpting the songs into more cohesive wholes. Founded by brothers Steven and Tim Batke (both on guitars and vocals, while Tim also plays keyboards), Faunts added another sibling, Rob Batke, to the mix with additional keyboards and laptop wizardry. “It Hurts Me All The Time” opens with an irresistible dance beat and wending synth notes, worthy of the best Cure club hit. The winsome line, “It hurts me all the time,” is repeated in little more than a whisper over a warm, bouncy bass line and perky beats, working up to “yeah, it kills me all the time,” without changing tone. Elsewhere, the juxtaposition of a dance beat and such moody vocalizing — wrapped in cool reverb — carries the ethereal punch of early New Order, while sounding inarguably new and original. “Out On A Limb” has see-sawing guitars, shakers, handclaps, and bongos, and yet the distant sparkle of a glockenspiel and faint fluttering of a flute lends the tune an unmistakable sadness. Other standouts abound, including the Krautrock-lite of “Das Malefitz,” the ambient “So Far Away,” and the languorous pop of the opening and closing tracks.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Faunts refine their contemporary synth-pop sound on their second full-length release, texturizing it with a vaporous sheen of shoegazer haze, while sculpting the songs into more cohesive wholes. Founded by brothers Steven and Tim Batke (both on guitars and vocals, while Tim also plays keyboards), Faunts added another sibling, Rob Batke, to the mix with additional keyboards and laptop wizardry. “It Hurts Me All The Time” opens with an irresistible dance beat and wending synth notes, worthy of the best Cure club hit. The winsome line, “It hurts me all the time,” is repeated in little more than a whisper over a warm, bouncy bass line and perky beats, working up to “yeah, it kills me all the time,” without changing tone. Elsewhere, the juxtaposition of a dance beat and such moody vocalizing — wrapped in cool reverb — carries the ethereal punch of early New Order, while sounding inarguably new and original. “Out On A Limb” has see-sawing guitars, shakers, handclaps, and bongos, and yet the distant sparkle of a glockenspiel and faint fluttering of a flute lends the tune an unmistakable sadness. Other standouts abound, including the Krautrock-lite of “Das Malefitz,” the ambient “So Far Away,” and the languorous pop of the opening and closing tracks.

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3:09
2:42
3:13
4:12
5:50
4:06
4:31
7:40
3:15
6:14

About Faunts

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 to make a name for themselves on Northern Canada's music scene, and steady club work led to concert dates opening for Broken Social Scene, Do Make Say Think, and Stars. After two well-received tours of Canada, Faunts struck a deal with the independent Friendly Fire label, and the group released their debut album, High Expectations/Low Results, in the fall of 2005. A five-song EP, M4, appeared in late 2007, released only via digital download services; the EP featured music created to accompany a series of short films presented as part of a multimedia project. By this time, Hitchcock had left the group and another member of the Batke family, Rob Batke, had joined the lineup on keyboards and laptop manipulations. ~ Mark Deming

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