You’d be forgiven if the thing that drew you to Matthew Dear’s first album in six years was the cover art: a thin, neon pink sheet pulled over the title’s letters like latex. It doesn’t scream sex so much as whisper it, which is a lot like Dear’s music. “Bunnies are cute, they’re playful, they’re disobedient, they procreate like crazy,” he tells Apple Music about the inspiration, noting the animal’s associations with Looney Tunes, Playboy, and LSD. “They’re allowed to be a little of everything.”
As a musician, Dear has always toyed with genre confines. Raised in Detroit’s techno scene (he still DJs and records under the alias Audion), he cofounded the label Ghostly International to release experimental pop and electronic music. His own sound—an anxious, trippy mix of New Wave and club-pop—is sultry and sinister, with Kraftwerk intensity and Bowie flirtatiousness. On Bunny, his first album since moving from New York back to Michigan and starting a family, Dear is still his spooky old self but ever-so-slightly warmer, evidenced on two collaborations with Tegan and Sara (“Horses,” “Bad Ones”). But don’t get comfortable: Before long, the mischief resurfaces—on songs with Troy Noka ("Modafinil Blues") and techno heavyweight Ricardo Villalobos (“Before I Go”)—and sends you right back down the rabbit hole.
“I've never had an album be so personally current,” Dear says. “In the past, I would have finished an album and by the time it came out, I’d feel the hustle to immediately put something else out. This one feels new and now. It feels good.”