Hometown: Athens, Georgia
Born of the incestuous collective music scene down in Athens, Georgia, Of Montreal has survived various incarnations over its almost ten-year history. As part of the extended Elephant 6 family (a nimbus of musicians spread over several bands including Beulah, Neutral Milk Hotel, and the Apples in Stereo), Of Montreal is mostly the baby of singer / songwriter Kevin Barnes. The band was started after Barnes broke it off with a woman, predictably, of Montreal.
It’s not often that a previous album title describes the kind of music a band plays succinctly. Of Montreal’s 2001 release, Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse, is a perfect, nonsensical description of the psychedelic indie-pop favored by Barnes and company. Barnes’ voice has the quality of someone on heavy narcotics: he sounds cheerful but in a completely empty way.
The lyrics off Of Montreal’s latest endeavor The Sunlandic Twins are certainly whimsical. So whimsical, in fact, that they border on fabulist, particularly in the song “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games”. “Let’s have bizarre celebrations/ I’ll play the Satyr in Cypress,” Barnes sings in his high-pitched, somewhat taunting voice. The music backing these fantastical images approaches classic Beach Boys-style pop and ’80s new wave.
The Sunlandic Twins hits stores on April 26th. The band is touring all over the US to support the new album. For more info on Of Montreal’s tour schedule, click here