of montreal-web


Much has been said about of Montreal’s gradual transformation from Beatlesque, tongue-in-cheek pop music to the darker, funky and angst-ridden glam-pop. The only thing worth knowing, however, is that they have been consistently excellent in their efforts. A variety of pop gems, more often single-worthy than not, have repeatedly come together to form beautiful, conceptual albums. What more could you possibly want?


Of Montreal (stylized as of Montreal) is an American rock band from Athens, Georgia. It was founded by frontman Kevin Barnes in 1996, named after a failed romance between Barnes and a woman “of Montreal.” The band is identified as part of the Elephant 6 collective. Throughout its existence, of Montreal’s musical style has evolved considerably and drawn inspiration from numerous 1960s psychedelic pop acts.


After production on The Gay Parade, the band’s third album, began in 1998, Poole left the band to focus on his duties with Elf Power, another Elephant Six band.Barnes then recruited James Husband and Dottie Alexander, who had been performing together as Lightning Bug vs. Firefly. Derek moved from drums to bass, and Marshmallow Coast’s Andy Gonzales joined soon after. Prior to the release of The Gay Parade in 1999, of Montreal released a number of singles and a re-release of The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit’s Flower.


Kevin Barnes recorded most of the band’s 2007 release, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, by himself while living in Norway and Athens, Georgia. Barnes also released a companion CD to Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? called Icons, Abstract Thee. In 2007, Kevin Barnes performed five songs nude during a performance in Las Vegas. In Paris, they did a Take-Away Show acoustic video session shot by Vincent Moon.


On April 25, 2013, of Montreal posted an announcement on their Facebook page stating that a new album entitled Lousy with Sylvianbriar had been completed. The post went into detail about the album’s conception, including that Barnes’ writing occurred while on a “self imposed isolation experiment in San Francisco” in early 2013. He was influenced by Sylvia Plath, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, and the Flying Burrito Brothers in his writing. Lousy with Sylvianbriar was released on 8 October 2013. On 10 July 2013, the band released the first single from the album, entitled “Fugitive Air.” On 31 July 2013, they announced that they would be touring their new album in October and November.On April 1, 2014 the band announced that their Kickstarter backed film had changed its name to “The Past Is a Grotesque Animal” (named after the song on 2007’s “Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?”) and would be released by Oscilloscope Laboratories. On April 29, 2014, it was announced that the film had a release date of June 24 accompanied by a tour of screenings prior that date.


By means of a Facebook post and a Kevin Barnes interview conducted by, of Montreal’s most recent album, Aureate Gloom was announced. The record is influenced by “the mid to late 70’s music scene in New York”. This includes bands such as Television and Talking Heads. The album captures Barnes’ emotions born from his separation from his wife of 11 years and its aftermath. Barnes described the album as being “all over the place musically”, lending to its reflection of his mindset during the time of its creation. The album was released March 3, 2015.


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