If you’re looking for an upbeat escape from reality, Of Montreal is your ticket to audible fantasy. This team of musicians led by Kevin Barnes march to the beat of their own drummer right off the beaten path. Clichés of the unique aside, Of Montreal grasps for influence from so many different genres of music, they’ll leave you curious as to how their songs don’t come out a jumble of sound instead of the catchy, melodic tunes they become.
With 10 albums under their belt, evolution is a necessity for Kevin Barnes and company. In their earlier albums they embraced a more typical indie rock sound that could be likened to Weezer or even early Beatles. Quirky touches and anecdotal lyrics with a dash of the peculiar saw them maintain distinction. The band then made their way into experimental concept albums full of characters and narrative lyrics and progressed to the album Satanic Panic in the Attic, which embraced the drum machine and synthesizers along with a denser sound that has morphed and stretched throughout their latest efforts.
With their new release, False Priest, this ever-evolving whimsically eccentric band takes you back to their land of psychadelic pop. And while synthesizer-laden rhythms combined with R&B and funk influences along with Barnes’ voice drifting into the occasional falsetto might not seem appetizing in verbal description, I encourage you to take a break from reality and sample Of Montreal’s irreverent fare.
Does an abundance of influences and sounds make for music that is just too bizarre for Top 40 audiences?
If you like: Sufjan Stevens, David Bowie, Grizzly Bear
Check out : Of Montreal (start with Satanic Panic in the Attic or Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, progress to False Priest “Coquet Coquette” and “Enemy Gene,” then graduate to The Sunlandic Twins and the remaining albums)
Feeling brave : Animal Collective, Tilly and the Wall, Yeasayer
AI level: Advanced