Haven’t heard too much from ADULT. proper in a bit, it’s probably a good thing. The best part of their last album, 2007′s Why Bother? was the album art. And actually, ADULT.’s album art has always been a defining aesthetic for the band; through lineup changes and sonic detours, the sinister mystery that has adorned the covers of their records and singles has been consistent. In fact, their last series of singles, The Decampment Trilogy, were MORE about the photos than the music, and were priced accordingly. This part of ADULT. is driven by Nicola Kuperus, ADULT.’s vocalist. Aside from bringing a wail predating The Knife and a slicing discomfort that mothers Alice Glass, she uses her refined visual skills as a counterpoint to the band’s aggressive, sometimes sludgy sound. The pictures always feature a woman dressed in modern vintage, usually with a chunky heel and an exposed calf, you hardly ever see her face and the scene is intentionally artificial. Something has just happened in in these outdoor Detroit spaces – an accident or a murder, a fight or a fatal collapse, and just as equally present is what is about to happen – the aftermath of these images MUST include a cover-up or funeral, or at the very least an alarming phone call. To pull it off with a Hitchcockian sense of humor is more than icing, it’s what keeps Kuperus’s heart-stopping pause, her emergency theme, compelling. What grabs me the most is the thought that these pressed business suits are in her closet, the cars are her neighbors’s, and the yards, corners and fences are places she often walks by. It’s bringing them all together into a cohesive body of film stills that made me drop EVERYTHING to find out about prices. I could stare at these all day.
Nicola Kuperus is showing at (In)Familiar at Canteen Gallery in Ottowa through June 27th.