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of Montreal

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  • of Montreal

  • of Montreal

  • of Montreal

  • of Montreal

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

The brainchild of singer/guitarist Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal was among the second wave of bands to emerge from the sprawling Elephant 6 collective. A native of Athens, Georgia, Barnes was inspired to form the euphoric indie pop group in the wake of a broken romance with a woman from Montreal. He signed with Bar/None Records while living in Florida, subsequently moved to Cleveland and Minneapolis in search of compatible bandmates, and finally returned home to collaborate with bassist Bryan Helium (also a member of Athens' Elf Power) and drummer Derek Almstead.

Of Montreal's debut album, Cherry Peel, appeared in mid-1997, followed that autumn by an EP entitled The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit's Flower. From the start, the band buoyed its bright, flamboyant indie pop sound with elements of psychedelia and vaudeville; Of Montreal's earliest records also exhibited a lo-fi sound that bordered on twee pop, although the band steadily shed those influences throughout the early 2000s. After Helium left the group in 1998 to focus on Elf Power full-time, Almstead assumed bass duties, while keyboardist Dottie Alexander and drummer Jamie Huggins both joined the lineup. Nevertheless, the band's second album, 1998's The Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy, was recorded primarily as a Barnes solo project.

Multi-instrumentalist A.C. Forrester signed on for 1999's sublime The Gay Parade, while the retrospective album Horse & Elephant Eatery followed in the spring of 2000. The group continued with the release of Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse in April 2001 and Aldhils Arboretum in September of 2002, both of which were issued by the Georgia-based label Kindercore Records. With the subsequent folding of Kindercore, the departures of multi-instrumentalist Andy Gonzales and Almstead, and Barnes' marriage, 2003 proved to be an up and down year for the group. Barnes' wife, Nina, joined Of Montreal's lineup as the group signed to Polyvinyl Records and delivered one of their most celebrated records, Satanic Panic in the Attic, in early 2004.

The following year found Barnes exploring a bouncier, synth-driven avenue with the release of Sunlandic Twins, but things began to get complicated in his personal life at the same time. He and his wife moved to Norway for the birth of their baby. Deprived of familiar touchstones, Barnes fell into a deep depression and, upon returning to the States, continued to travel progressively downhill. He and his wife separated for a time, and she returned to her family in Norway with their new daughter. Through the emotional turmoil, Barnes concocted what was to be his darkest, most personal, and ambitious album yet -- Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? -- in 2007. Arriving one year later, Skeletal Lamping furthered that ambitious sound by emphasizing Barnes' outrageous alter ego, "Georgie Fruit," whose influence pushed the album toward funk and prog territory. An Eluardian Instance (Jon Brion Remix EP) followed in early 2009, featuring five remixed tracks from the previous album. Of Montreal's tenth studio release, False Priest, arrived the following year and featured cameos from fellow genre-hoppers Janelle Monáe and Solange Knowles. Songs written for that album but not used saw the light of day in April of 2011 with the release of thecontrollersphere EP. The following year Barnes revisited the raw emotion of Hissing Fauna with the album Paralytic Stalks, exploring themes of self-loathing, revenge, and romantic turmoil to create Of Montreal's most personal offering yet. At the end of 2012, the band issued the Daughter of Cloud compilation, a collection of unreleased b-sides and outtakes from 2008-2011. 2013's full length Lousy with Sylvianbriar was a huge departure for Barnes' project, finding him recording live to tape with a host of studio musicians, making an albums worth of roots rock-styled compositions indebted to the influence of Neil Young, the Rolling Stones and other 70's FM radio super stars.

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Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
12.31.16 40 Watt Club Athens, GA US

eMusic Features

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Schizo-Pop! A Guide to Musicians and Their Alternate Personae

By Laura Studarus, Contributor

Whether it's on account of creativity bursting at the seams, or just a desire to try something musically or lyrically different from their previous work, sometimes artists feel the need to step outside themselves and create an entirely new persona. The syndrome that's kept psychologists busy for years has manifested itself in concept albums, live performances or just the occasional one-off single. Inspired by Nicki Minaj's sophomore album Roman Reloaded — where Minaj channels her… more »

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New This Week: Sharon Van Etten, Twilight Sad & More

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

OK! Are you guys ready to get bummed out? Because it's the week before Valentine's Day and, man, do we have some sad records for you. I mean, sad even for indie rock, which has sad basically branded into its DNA. So if you're ready to be heartbroken, let's get going. Sharon Van Etten, Tramp: Basically, the only record you need today. A great leap forward from her previous, folky outings, Tramp finds Van Etten falling… more »

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Interview: Of Montreal

By Barry Walters, Contributor

Whether cavorting around the stage in ballet tights or turning his psyche onto skewed, Technicolor pop songs, Of Montreal main man Kevin Barnes puts so much of himself on display that it almost seems impolite to look. For over 15 years he's commandeered his continuously mutating studio project and live band, while simultaneously exploring his own multiple personalities, sexualities and spiritualities. Invigorating the psychedelic soul of 2008's Skeletal Lamping and 2010's False Priest with free jazz… more »

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Six Degrees of Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Six Degrees of Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Interview: Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes

By Michelangelo Matos, Contributor

Ten years ago, Kevin Barnes would have seemed like the least-likely-to-succeed satellite of the Athens, Georgia-based Elephant 6 troupe, a loose collective of bands and artists that became a mini-phenomenon among indie-rock fans in the mid-to-late-'90s. Barnes 'group, Of Montreal, were maybe the most whimsical of the E6'ers; their early records, even ones as good as 1999's The Gay Parade, were more notable for what they weren't (meaning, actually from the '60s) as for what… more »

Activity

  • 11.17.16 check out @shugotokumaru's cover of Gronlandic Edit from @Polyvinyl's upcoming covers comp: https://t.co/pWwZVHFai1 https://t.co/KEm5hsJ5JA
  • 11.10.16 We covered @JaccoGardner for @Polyvinyl's new covers comp. Listen below & order here: https://t.co/pWwZVHWLGB https://t.co/TYIpn1VYZv
  • 10.20.16 RT @lightintheattic: THIS BLACK FRIDAY! Collaboration between LITA & @aquadrunkard feat. rad covers #ofmontreal #aphextwin #randynewman 🎁 h…
  • 10.14.16 RT @Polyvinyl: .@xxofMontrealxx's new track "let's relate" is @TheCurrent's song of the day! Head to their site to stream/download: https:/…
  • 10.11.16 louisville! excited to be playing at @HeadlinersLou this thur 10/13 with @teentheband. tix available here:… https://t.co/HiXP1Ftuzn
  • 10.03.16 RT @Polyvinyl: .@xxofMontrealxx made an @AppleMusic guest playlist called 'Songs for Cycling to the Wolframite Mines' Stream: https://t.co…
  • 09.16.16 RT @MajesticMadison: ⦊ ENTER TO WIN ⦉ Tix to @xxofMontrealxx at Majestic 9/20 + their new LP Innocence Reaches: https://t.co/wtx79DdoUD htt…
  • 09.15.16 happy 20th to @Polyvinyl! we covered @JaccoGardner for polyvinyl's covers comp. pre-order: https://t.co/8TsutPsOO4 https://t.co/iJ9wIcKcNJ
  • 09.06.16 Charlottesville tonight at @CvilleJefferson! Grab tix here: https://t.co/IUy7fDKank
  • 09.01.16 new vid for "let's relate" up now on @stereogum! Watch here - https://t.co/TNwHNmzdzD https://t.co/IMeSYJ6HsR
  • 08.31.16 sorry everyone, still trying to figure out the reddit AMA. should have it working soon!
  • 08.31.16 doing a @reddit AMA today at 3pm EST on r/indieheads. check it out here: https://t.co/LS79UlEpFV https://t.co/KtN9roXfIE