Label: Saddle Creek
The Faint's long-awaited new album, Egowerk, is set to release on March 15, 2019. Made up of vocalist Todd Fink, drummer Clark Baechle, keyboardist Graham Ulicny, and guitarist and bassist Michael "Dapose" Dappen, the group that ignited an electro-pop-punk movement is back with an 11-track deep-dive into themes on modern society, the internet, and ego - specifically social media and it's dark effects. Opener "Child Asleep" echoes well-loved Faint singles from the Danse Macabre days, with rapidfire techno beats that sear so hot, your forehead will break into a sweat regardless of proximity to a dance floor. And though the synths should sound familiar to any Faint follower, the song's monotone message is at once classic and current: "If I was wise, I would see I'm a child still asleep." Elaborating further, Todd says, "It would be amazing if I could wake up from the world that I think I'm awake in already. If there's a better way of understanding life, I'd love to be privy to it. You see the wisdom of all Gurus in the East, and you know they're not bothered by this or that. They've attained something, and the rest of us are just kind of banging into stuff, trying to figure out what to do with our lives." It's been four years since The Faint dropped a proper studio album, and more than two decades since they first tore onto the Midwest scene, alongside area staples Cursive and Bright Eyes, with anxious electro-pop-punk anthems that meshed doomsday themes with thudding dance-floor hooks. The group began to construct Egowerk shortly after releasing their 2016 career-spanning record, CAPSULE:1999-2016, with Baechle making frequent trips back to Omaha from his new home in Philadelphia to mix the record. The band made a unanimous decision to self-produce the entire record, making it unique and far more involved than any of their past work. Despite The Faint's nihilistic musings on Egowerk, Fink and Baechle remain optimistic that things can improve if society is willing to absorb dueling perspectives. "The more you learn about any issue, any issue at all, the more you understand that it's more complicated than you think, " Fink says. "I'd like to see people less convinced that they're right about everything all the time. I guess I think we'll figure it out as time goes on."