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of Montreal

Hometown: Athens, GA
Tags: indie, indie rock, indie pop, primitive, thin

of Montreal is an indie pop band which formed in Athens, Georgia, United States in 1997. The band is fronted by Kevin Barnes, who writes, composes, and plays most of the music for his albums.



They were among the second wave of groups to emerge from The Elephant 6 Recording Company and the group has a style that is typical of many Elephant 6 bands due to their interest in combining musical experimentation with the basic tenets of pop i.e. catchy melodies and sing-along choruses. The band’s style has been influenced by conventional indie pop, psychedelic music, vaudeville and music hall on their earlier releases and by afrobeat, funk, krautrock and reggae on their recent releases.



The band’s style has been known to change between albums. At first, the band embraced a more simple, quirky, lo-fi indie pop sound, which occasionally bordered on twee pop. The band was created by Kevin Barnes and named after a failed romance with a woman from Montreal, though the story changes in various interviews. Barnes was the only member of the “group” prior to his relocation to Athens, Georgia. There, he met Derek Almstead, later of Circulatory System, M Coast, Elf Power etc., and Bryan Poole, who also performs as The Late B.P. Helium.



Together, they recorded their first album, Cherry Peel, as well as The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit’s Flower and The Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy.
A number of singles and a re-release of The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit’s Flower occurred before the release of the band’s third album, The Gay Parade in 1999. With contributions from several members of the Elephant Six collective at the time, it also featured artwork from Kevin’s brother David Barnes, who would continue to do artwork for future albums.



The band released several collections of singles in early 2006. Barnes recorded most of the band’s 2007 release, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, by himself while living in Norway and Athens, Georgia. The switch to autobiographical themes of suicide, depression and isolation of the album was a direct product of his troubled personal life during that period.



Lyrically, their style has changed dramatically throughout the years. In the beginning, many songs were narratives of personal or humorous situations, such as “Tim, I Wish You Were Born A Girl”, from Cherry Peel. This style, however, changed with The Gay Parade, where many songs involve small narratives surrounding invented characters (in songs such as “Jacques Lamure”, “The Autobiographical Grandpa”, “Mimi Merlot” and “Rose Robert”). Others act as extracts from fictional conversations (“Advice From a Divorced Gentleman to His Bachelor Friend Considering Marriage” and “Good Morning Mr. Edminton” as examples). With Aldhils Arboretum came a slight return to the previous writing style, except following more poppy, classical lyrical structures (such as the use of choruses, which are generally absent in the Gay Parade/Coquelicot years). This style continued throughout Satanic Panic and The Sunlandic Twins to some extent. On the album Hissing Fauna: Are You The Destroyer? the lyrics are much more personal than previously used, with songs detailing emotions within the speaker.



Another unique quality of the band is the fusion of ostensibly gloomy lyrics with bouncy, upbeat melodies and hooks. On Aldhils Arboretum, for example, the lyrics for tracks like “Doing Nothing” and “Old People in the Cemetery” focus on apathy, loneliness or death while being contrasted with cheerful instrumentation. Another example of this tendency is shown in their choice of covers; for example, Yoko Ono’s “I Felt Like Smashing my Head Through a Clear Glass Window” from The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit’s Flower. – c/o last.fm



Upcoming of Montreal Tour Dates

http://www.ofmontreal.net/tour-dates/

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  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on of Montreal

    about 1 year ago

    Played "Enemy Gene (Clean)" 06/13/2014 11:55 am

  • WTTS Indy Underground

    WTTS Indy Underground on of Montreal

    over 1 year ago

    more at wttsfm.com

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on of Montreal

    almost 2 years ago

    Played "Fugitive Air (clean)" 09/25/2013 11:54 am

  • KCRW's Dan Wilcox

    KCRW's Dan Wilcox on of Montreal

    almost 2 years ago

    Played "She Ain't Speakin' Now" 09/01/2013 11:37 pm

  • KCRW's Jason Bentley

    KCRW's Jason Bentley on of Montreal

    almost 2 years ago

    Played "Fugitive Air" 08/26/2013 10:15 am

  • TheOwlMag

    TheOwlMag on of Montreal

    over 2 years ago

    of Montreal Paralytic Stalks [Polyvinyl Record Co.]

    There’s no better way to describe Paralytic Stalks than an insane, uncharted trip through the intricate psyche of of Montreal’s front man, Kevin Barnes (and no, not that energetic, flamboyantly-dressed alter-ego you see on stage at their shows). This is Barnes exposed and at his rawest. The newest installment from the Georgia-based band is a totally unfiltered glimpse into Barnes’ consciousness—which, as the sheer lyrical and compositional creativity of their twelve album legacy has proven—is pretty complex. Paralytic Stalks takes listeners on a trip (in the most psychedelic sense of the word) with Barnes’ unprocessed thoughts on existence and personal life as the lyrics and an unconventional roller coaster of styles, sounds, and instruments as the music. And because of Barnes’ complex nature as an artist, this does not translate into an easy-listen. In other words, Paralytic Stalks by no means mirrors the poppy harmonies we see on their earlier albums like The Sunlandic Twins or Skeletal Lamping, but the fact that of Montreal’s music can’t be pigeonholed into having one distinct “sound” is one of the things that keeps die-hards so crazy about their music—we’re kept on our toes, excited to hear what the band will surprise us with next.

    Paralytic Stalks flows in its own right: it’s hard to tell where one song ends and the other one starts, and some of the lyrics seem like one long stream of profound, exciting, unedited thought. But one of the things that makes of Montreal such a brilliant and creative group is their willingness to experiment and venture into new territory. Paralytic Stalks, arguably their most personal album to date, is definitely a stretch into uncharted waters for of Montreal and for Barnes — one that avid listeners will actively embrace, and newcomers might have a hard time with.

    more at theowlmag.com

  • Buzz Bands LA

    Buzz Bands LA on of Montreal

    almost 3 years ago

    In Canadian filmmaker Jesse Ewles , pop contortionists Of Montreal found someone with the mad visual skills to match their musical spirit. The video for "Spiteful Intervention," off the band's recent album "Paralytic Stalks," is a painting in motion — a giant eye, Kevin Barnes' face, blobs of color pulsing — all in arresting and rather disturbing fashion. Ewles talks about his work in an interview with The Creators Project here . The animations themselves are liable to cause nightmares. more here

  • Buzz Bands LA

    Buzz Bands LA on of Montreal

    almost 3 years ago

    Of Montreal, Junip [pictured], School of Seven Bells, Class Actress, Penguin Prison, Clinic and L.A.'s own funkmeisters Breakestra head up the first batch of acts announced for Filter Magazine's third annual Culture Collide festival, which goes off Oct. 4-7 at various venues in Echo Park. Also notable an on tap for the event: Dean Wareham Plays Galaxie 500. Wristbands ($20) are already on sale for the fall festivities, which winds up with a Sunday block party after four days of shows at the Echo/Echoplex, Taix, 626LA, the Echo Park United Methodist Church and Origami more here

  • Buzz Bands LA

    Buzz Bands LA on of Montreal

    almost 3 years ago

    Of Montreal , which has a rarities collection titled "Daughter of Cloud" on the way (Oct. 23, Polyvinyl), will join the Wombats, the Big Pink, Zola Jesus, Diiv, Niki & the Dove and Dean Wareham at the top of the bill for this year's Culture Collide Festival, Oct. 4-7 at multiple venues throughout Echo Park. Junip and School of Seven Bells had previously been announced for the festival, but their names have somehow vanished from the latest poster. In its third year, the festival has proven a fun and relatively inexpensive ( $20 festival passes here more here

  • Buzz Bands LA

    Buzz Bands LA on of Montreal

    almost 3 years ago

    Random encounters of the festival kind from Saturday's third night of Filter magazine's Culture Collide: Highlight of the night Absurd and absurdly fun — that's about the only way to describe Of Montreal's hour-plus excursion into whimsy and fantasy at the Echoplex. There were plenty of costumed crazies accompanying Kevin Barnes and crew throughout, onstage and in the crowd, and amid all the balloons, party favors and misbehavior there was music too. We think. While dodging a friend dressed as a gay wizard, we swore we heard "Spiteful Intervention" (off the band's most recent more here

  • Buzz Bands LA

    Buzz Bands LA on of Montreal

    almost 3 years ago

    Show picks for Sunday: â–º Coming off their epic club show Saturday night at the Echoplex, Of Montreal headlines the Culture Collide Block Party (on Reservoir between Alvarado and Sunset in Echo Park, free with RSVP ) as the Filter magazine festival comes to a close. The Wombats, School of Seven Bells, Niki and the Dove, late lineup addition Poolside, DIIV, Gold Fields and Royal Teeth also are part of the festival finale, which brings about 30 bands to four stages. Schedule at the end of more here

  • Buzz Bands LA

    Buzz Bands LA on of Montreal

    almost 3 years ago

    Random encounters of the festival kind from Saturday's third night of Filter magazine's Culture Collide: Highlight of the night Absurd and absurdly fun — that's about the only way to describe Of Montreal's hour-plus excursion into whimsy and fantasy at the Echoplex. There were plenty of costumed crazies accompanying Kevin Barnes and crew throughout, onstage and in the crowd, and amid all the balloons, party favors and misbehavior there was music too. We think. While dodging a friend dressed as a gay wizard, we swore we heard "Spiteful Intervention" (off the band's most recent more here

  • Pitchfork Best Albums

    Pitchfork Best Albums on of Montreal

    almost 3 years ago

    Album "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" scored 8.7

    If 2004's immaculate Satanic Panic in the Attic saw Of Montreal reaching the logical apex of their brand of sunshine-y guitar pop, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer spins 180 degrees: Their darkest...

    more at pitchfork.com

  • Covert Curiosity on of Montreal

    over 4 years ago

    I had no idea who David Banner was before The Fader party at SXSW this year. more at blogspot.com

  • Covert Curiosity on of Montreal

    over 4 years ago

    Arms and Legs - "Alice" The Velvet Underground - "Stephanie Says" Donovan - "Jennifer Juniper" The Beatles - "Michelle" Papercuts - "Sandy" Brazos - "Mrs. more at blogspot.com

  • Austinist

    Austinist on of Montreal

    over 7 years ago

    Of Montreal, unlike what seems to be the case with most great bands recently, is not a group from Montreal.more at austinist.com

  • AustinChronicle

    AustinChronicle on of Montreal

    over 7 years ago

    Of Montreal is from Georgia, which is kind of the opposite of Montreal if you think about it.more at austinchronicle.com

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