Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Barnes’

“Fingerless Gloves” sounds restless and chaotic, with Kevin Barnes cycling through three different aesthetics – warped hyperpop bounce, macho riff rock, classic fey Of Montreal synthpop – within just the first 30 seconds. It holds together through sheer force of will and a gleeful “fuck it” playfulness, and it makes you feel like you’ve been zapped into the brain of someone who thinks and feels much faster than you do. In terms of the Of Montreal catalogue it’s pretty similar to the bonkers energy of Skeletal Lamping, but there’s a different charge to it – less frazzled, more at peace with an identity full of apparent contradictions. There are songs in which ping-ponging through genres and tones is an expression of an unstable state of mind but “Fingerless Gloves” sounds more settled in a sense of identity, and like a statement of pride in being fractured and strange. I mean, check out how triumphant Barnes sounds at the climax, screaming “I Feel So Safe With You Trash!!!!” over super-charged video game thrash metal. That’s some maniac joy right there.

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Recorded at Sunlandic Studios March to November 2020

Releases March 5th, 2021

all songs written/performed/mixed by Kevin Barnes

Of Montreal Kevin Barnes is back to working mostly alone but has shared their latest White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood EP in full. While that fact alone doesn’t indicate anything about the quality level of the record, it is usually an indication that Barnes will be stretching the track length and experimenting more. Both of those things are the case here. There are six songs here, all over five minutes in length, and two of them crest the eight-minute mark.

The EP includes tracks and the single “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia,” as well as “Plateau Phase/No Careerism No Corruption,” and serves as a follow-up to the band’s 2017 EP Rune Husk. The latest release flirts with club melodies and heavy synthesizers that embrace the dancier side of the once-whimsical indie pop project. Listen below and catch them on tour very soon.

Soft Music/Juno Portraits Of The Jovian Sky” is taken from of Montreal’s new album and their 15th album release, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, out 9th March.

of Montreal White Is RelicIrrealis Mood Pre-Order

Time to dance like nobody (or everybody) is watching. Kevin Barnes sure is! . of Montreal just released a video for their latest single “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia,” off their upcoming record White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood.
Directed by Jennifer Juniper Stratford, the clip features Barnes undergoing multiple costume changes as he dances and sings in an all-white room.

“Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia” is taken from of Montreal’s new album, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, out 9th March

Two important events occurred during the making of White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood. I became “Simulated Reality” paranoid and I fell in Love. Well a lot more happened during the process of writing and recording, but those are the two big ones. I also reached a healthy point of self-forgiveness for my failed marriage and became deeply educated in the lies of America the Great.

I feel like a switch was recently turned on in my brain and now I’m beginning to see through the lies that have been fed to me my whole life by the masters of media and by those who control and manipulate the narrative of our cultural identity and social order.

My paranoia began during the presidential election cycle and reached a dangerous peak shortly after the inauguration. In the meantime I watched and read countless works of art in a mad effort to be reminded of how many truly brilliant people there are living/struggling among us and to try to maintain a positive outlook. The works of Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Chris Kraus, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the Autobiographies of Malcolm X and Mark E Smith were all great inspirations, to name a few.

Musically, I was very inspired by the extended dance mixes that people used to make for pop singles back in the ‘80s. It’s so cool how a lot of the 80’s hits had these really intricate and interesting longer versions that wouldn’t get played on the radio and could only be heard in the clubs. I used that template with these tracks, I wanted them all to feel like the extended “club edit” of album tracks.

I also decided to abandon the “live band in a room” approach that I had been using on the recent albums and work more on my own or remotely with collaborators. I used the same drum sample packs throughout because I wanted the album to have a rhythmic continuity to it. I wanted the drums to have a strong and consistent identity, similar to how Prince’s Linn Electronics LM-1 drum machine played such an important role on his classic albums. Zac Colwell also played a huge role on this album, adding saxophones and synths to most of the songs. I also got a lot of help from long time collaborators, and “of Montreal” touring members, Clayton Rychlik and JoJo Glidewell.

The two title concept came to me when I was thinking about how difficult it is to frame the message of a song with just one title, because so often the songs are about so many different subjects. ‘White Is Relic’ was inspired by James Baldwin’s writings regarding the creation and propagation of a toxic American White identity. I’ve come to learn how it’s just a tool wielded by the 1% to give poor white people a false sense of superiority in an effort to keep the masses placated and numb to how deeply we’re all getting fucked by our capitalist rulers. An ‘Irrealis Mood’ is a linguistic indicator that something isn’t yet reality but does have the potential to become so.

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I’m always searching for new identities so this concept of the death of “Whiteness” appeals to me greatly. Might be the only way to save the world.

Kevin Barnes, January 2018

A year and change after releasing “Lousy With Sylvianbriar”, the Athens glam crew Of Montreal return in a couple of months with their new LP Aureate Gloom. According to frontman Kevin Barnes, the album is both inspired by the “mid to late ’70s music scene in New York” and by his own recent divorce. The band already shared first single “Bassem Sabry,” and now they’re letting us hear “Empyrean Abattoir,” which moves from ADD psychedelic jangle to bratty glam-punk so quickly and effortlessly that you almost don’t register it happening.

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