ADULT. have announced details of their new album ‘Becoming Undone’ for release on February 25th via Dais Records, with vinyl to land in stores worldwide on March 11th. Along with the announcement, they have shared a first cut from the album and accompanying video, as well as North American and European tour dates throughout the first half of 2022.
After a quarter century of nearly nonstop activity, dystopian Detroit synth-punk institution ADULT. have perfected a strain of stylistic cohesion in the album format, “but for this we wanted something that’s falling apart.” ‘Becoming Undone’, the ninth official full-length by co-founders Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller, explicitly succeeds in this aim, simultaneously rejecting and reflecting the planetary discord that inspired it.
Written between November 2020 and April 2021, the album might be ADULT.’s most non-conformant yet. Today they’ve revealed lead single “Fools (We Are…)“. The twitchy EBM track is paired with a self-made video that was birthed from an idea to combine Kuperus’s recurring performance of this clown/fool theme and a series of drawings that Miller had always wanted to realize into a sculptural installation — the Golden Fountains.
They comment: “Inspiration came from performances by Paul McCarthy’s ‘Painter’ to Bruce Nauman’s ‘Clown Torture.’ The sculptural work of Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ to Robert Gober’s ‘Two urinals (in 2 parts),’ and the album artwork of Fad Gadget’s ‘Incontinent.’ The toilet is a universal motif, a shared human situation or in some cases shituation. We are all fools in one way or another, from war to waste to societal trends in ridiculous human behavior.”
The making of ‘Becoming Undone’ began in the latter half of 2020 against a backdrop of unprecedented flux and seismic isolation, the duo kickstarted their muse by sourcing fresh additions to the rig: a vocal loop pedal for Kuperus and Roland percussion pads for Miller. Reconnecting with legacy influences like the politicized industrial percussion of Test Department and the queasy miscreant synthetics of TG’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats sparked a series of fruitfully frenetic sessions, centred on themes of impermanence and dissonance. Miller’s rationale is blunt: “We weren’t interested in melody or harmony since we didn’t see the world having that.”
The album is also freighted with a more personal pain, as Kuperus’ father passed away during the height of the pandemic, just before the album took root. As his hospice caretakers, she and Miller faced the banality of finality, surrounded by objects drained of meaning, “the joy of having a body, but also the drudgery of having one.”
Both sides bristle with strident acidic revolt and black leather sequential circuits, unhinged and unforgiving. From technoid blitzes to slower tempos of purgatorial unravelling, ‘Becoming Undone’ showcases a breadth of vocal FX. Kuperus at times sounds alternately indignant and possessed, decrying the crimes, fears, and failings of a deluded world. Throughout, the band’s chemistry crackles with revulsion and strobe-lit dissent, equal parts exorcism and denunciation. “Humans have always been pretty terrible,” Kuperus explains. “But every year the compromises of culture just accelerate.”
‘Becoming Undone’ sees its release via Dais Records across all digital platforms on February 25, 2022. Vinyl and CD formats will be available in stores worldwide on March 11. Pre-order here.