Before a single note is played, the tone of ADULT.’s seventh full-length, This Behavior, is set as soon as you read the opening to the duo’s statement on the writing process: “It’s confounding how often we negate the importance of disconnecting, getting weird, getting lost”.
Masters of dark electronica, the duo of Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller have never veered away the benefits of both disconnecting and getting weird with their music. Whether it be the driving “Hand To Phone (Cordless Mix)” or the intensely listenable “Tonight, We Fall”, ADULT. have been reliable over their two decades releasing music as offering total escape to their fans.
In many ways then nothing much has changed on This Behavior. Kuperus’ vocal performance is as regimented as ever, the combination of her singing and Miller’s soundscapes a commanding concoction. Kuperus is someone that demands you take note of her, whether it be the paranoid energy exhibited on “On The Edge (You Put Me)”, or the anthemic “Perversions of Mankind”, itself partially reminiscent of another notable anti-establishment track.
There is a persistent darkness to This Behavior however which is reflective of the kind of escape they experienced in the making of the record. In total isolation in a cabin in North Michigan, right in the dead of winter, the duo have spoken of the “anxiety, fear, purpose, banality, futility of task, power structures, power struggles, pointlessness, collapse” that crept in during the recording.
The darker side to dislocation, tracks such as the terribly sad “Silent Exchange” and the anxious “Violent Shakes” package up these emotions and display them in a swirl of electronics, drum beats and Kuperus’ compelling vocals.
The experience isn’t one you’d necessarily want to emulate, though the result is often enthralling. Sticking to their core tenets, This Behavior is perhaps the record where ADULT. get the weirdest and the most lost, taking their aggressive electronic soundscapes to a plain more immersive and menacing than they’ve ever been before.