Band of the Day

2013.08.04

Faunts

Complexly layered melodies, with an electronic pulse, from a Canadian group of musical perfectionists
And this is how I feel now for my love, and I can't let go what I'm thinking of.
lyrics from Feel.Love.Thinking.Of.

Write what you know. It is the most common advice offered to young songwriters, and it's probably the best. But in the case of Faunts' approach to songwriting, such advice would be misguided and reductive at best. This is a group of musicians who write what they can imagine. At once symphonic and sprawling; ambient, yet driving, Faunts' latest articulation, the full-length Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. (out February 17th, 2009 on Friendly Fire Recordings) is the culmination of a year of touring, recording, and meticulous exploration of this transcendent imagination. With its effervescent guitars, mathematic loops and synthesizers, surging drums, and seemingly nomadic bass lines, Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. is a fluidic expression of Faunts' painstaking attention to instrumentation and arrangement which allows the buoyantly defiant mood of the record to transverse any one song in particular. This is a band of perfectionists - every movement agonized over, every melody deconstructed and explored - whose labors have resulted in an expansive, layered, textured, and sublime collaboration. Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. perfectly encompasses the band's ambitious, imaginative devotion to sculpting not only a musical moment, but an entire atmosphere which accompanies that moment.

Born out of the dark autumn months that settled over Edmonton, Alberta (in western Canada, six hours north of Montana) in late 2000, Faunts’ original lineup consisted of brothers Tim and Steven Batke and Paul Arnusch. After turning an old office space into a studio, the three spent a full year creating their magically haunting debut album,High Expectations/Low Results, which immediately established the band as an up-and-coming presence in the Canadian music scene.

Following the success of High Expectations/Low Results, Faunts evolved into a five-piece ensemble with the addition of Joel Hitchcock, and turned their attention to their second release, M4. Composed of scores initially created to accompany three independent short films, M4 (which also had its title track featured—to critical acclaim—in Bioware’s multimillion-selling Xbox 360 video game, Mass Effect) is a quintessential demonstration of Faunts’ ongoing love affair with complexly layered melodies and soaring refrains. It also yielded the extraordinary animated video for the song “M4 (Part II)”, which appeared multiple times on MTV2’s “Subterranean” and brought the band a slew of new fans from the animation and gaming communities.

Fall of 2008 saw the release of Faunts Remixed, which built on the success of Faunts' first two efforts. The album features reworked tracks from both High Expectations/Low Results and M4 with contributions from artists working at the forefront of the North American electronic music scene: Cadence Weapon, Mark Templeton, Brightest Feathers (aka Saxon Shore), San Serac, and the Paronomasiac (aka Nik Kozub from Shout Out Out Out Out).

Now with the addition of Scott Gallant a third Batke brother, Rob, Faunts have given us Feel.Love.Thinking.Of., an album that is both more ambitious and sprawling in its conception and tighter and more focused in its execution than anything the band has done before. A more vocal, song-oriented album than its predecessors, Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. contains some truly sublime moments: the electronic pulse of the eponymous title track, the bending synths on “It Hurts Me all the Time” that almost evoke the singing saw, the krautrock-y slow burn of “Alarmed/Lights”, the emotive refrain of album closer “Explain”. With Feel.Love.Thinking.Of., Faunts have outgrown any old comparisons and developed into their own entity, and the results couldn’t be better.