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Of Montreal

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 its 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 an EP entitled thecontrollersphere. 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.

Arriving in 2013, the 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 album's worth of roots rock-styled compositions indebted to the influence of Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, and other '70s FM radio superstars. After separating from his wife of ten years and touring heavily into 2014, Barnes took a two-week break in New York City in the spring and wrote much of the material for his 13th record, Aureate Gloom. The history of the '70s CBGB music scene and the aftermath of his separation inspired the album's raw, confessional lyrics and punk rock edge. Recorded at Sonic Ranch Studios outside of El Paso, Texas with the same core group of musicians as Lousy with Sylvianbriar -- keyboardist Jojo Glidewell, guitarist Bennett Lewis, bassist Bob Parins, and drummer Clayton Rychlik -- it was released in early 2015. ~ Jason Ankeny & Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Ambivalent Stumbling Hysterical Dispatches, Strictly In Unisex (Digital Box Set)

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Track List: Fugitive Air (Single)

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Track List: Gender Mutiny Tour

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Track List: Id Engager (Single)

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Track List: Jigsaw Puzzle

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Track List: Suffer For Fashion

Comments

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This song is ripping off a Billy Cobham song off of the spectrum lp.
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Aureate Gloom is a huuuuuge improvement from Lousy With Sylvianbriar imo! Just saw them in Philly the other day and they kicked a**. Last time I saw them I think I was too in shock over the lineup change to appreciate the show.
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My new favorite band! I am blown away by Kevin's song writing. It's reminiscent of classic progressive rock music and glam rock, but with a modern, electronic, experimental twist. I love it!!!
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Their new film about the band is AMAAAAAZING! SO comprehensiv e . And you get to see his D if you're into that haha :\
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Is it just me or is there Scissor Sister influences?
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mpoloface2
nice
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THIS ON THE OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL RADIO YAAAAAAAS
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Whats with the new backing band?! I saw them in Philly a week ago and it was really weird not seeing Jamie and Brian and Dottie with him. N they played a few old song and it just sounded...of f
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A Must-See Live Show. Love the artistry behind this band. Not afraid of big ideas and of taking chances. Plus lots of fun!
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Love them! They always make me feel better c:
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First time I heard this band I was in high school. Kelsey always listened to them. I remember thinking wow he has such a unique voice. I think that is my favorite part about this whole band. It just ties the whole thing together. He doesn't sound like anyone else. Truly original.
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Magg-z: I'm a big fan of both and I sees it! N nice save btw by explaining yourself lol. I'm sure a bunch of a**holes would have given you crap...no pun intended... they probably still will haha. I also hear a ton of later-era E.L.O. in their more recent stuff
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Does anyone else think they sound like the Beatles? I mean not like their voices and instruments, but in their songwriting?
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Whoooo! Just got my tickets for the Philly show in December. I haven't been to the Trocadero in quite a while...
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Oh no I gave them a capital O (he said in a droll inflection)
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of*
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Just saw them in Philly. Great show in a Great new venue (Union Transfer) Met the dude from Loney Dear during Of Montreals set.
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Just saw them in San Francisco... amazing live performance.
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HAHA!!! Nice cupcakes, Kevin. They've always had interesting band photos if nothing else (aside from their interesting music)
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different sound - good.
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Wow, very similiar to XTC. Great sounding band!
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best band!!!!!!!! ! ! ! !
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there's NOTHING like seeing them live. If you get a chance, grab it.
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I've been hooked ever since I heard Id Engager.
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The perfect blend of avant-garde and Mainstream. A wonderful group with a fresh sound. Got a sneak peek of their new album, definitely worth buying!
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This band is amazing, hopefully going to their concert on sat. :)
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of radical
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limelove5
i love these guys :)
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emma703
say what you want, but can anyone dispute that they have the absolute best album/song names ever?

I personally love this band. Weirdest ever.
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i lovveee Of Montreal!!! ^_^
-one of my fav. bands right now.. :))
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What little I've heard was alright.
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matthewalber t c u n n i n g h a m
Of Montreal is by FAR my favorite band, they always find some way to really get to me. Definitely a band I NEED to see before I die.
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amadeus_anto n i n
they just pick me up on one of those bad days^^
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Pfffffft. Adam Duritz writes good lyrics? NO. He writes psudeo-intel l e c t u a l college pissant bullshit garbage and gets laid unbelievably enough. He BORES me. Of Montreal I also find quite without any real musical merits. Good lyrics are important, but great music with a hook rules.

That guy is the most pretentious stinking hippie slob ever. God, talk about a fathead for no discernable reason.
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Dear Hipsters,

Kill yourselves.

Thanks.

Love,
Everyone.

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Aahh! I saw them at Monolith (red rocks)...the y were the shiz! <3
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sarafillmore
I've been to 4 of Montreal concerts... they never fail!
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they are the most amazing band ever! i highly recommend seeing them live if you haven't already.
they are hands down my favorite band. i absolutely adore them
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the gay parade...the black parade...
LOL
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best. concert. ever. even for a david bowie rip off.
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Of Montreal AND the Counting Crows are both awesome... maybe you just have no appreciation for lyrics
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If they are as pretentious and dull live as they are recorded...n o thanks. Seriously, where did the adrenaline go?

I'm going to play a song.

BE DEAD SILENT BETWEEN SONGS, OK?! SERIOUSLY! WE'RE SERIOUS MUSICICANS!

I call this "Counting Crows" Syndrome. Gross.
Report as inappropriate
the most amazing band ever!!! i grew up listening to them. they're amazing live also...if anyone hasn't seen them live yet well you must!! :D :D
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tool0267
Yea, if you read the biography, they aren't Canadian. Not a bad group though. pretty nutz
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...new? lol, seriously? If twelve years is new then I'm the f**king pope.

Great band, yo~ :D They make me smile. It's fun! I'd truly, truly love to see them in concert.
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Ahhhh, listen to the cute little shiny new Canadian indie band. Aren't they precious?
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Fun, I guess.
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Of Montreal is truly one of the greatest musical gatherings of all time. They have put me in my place several times whether it was right after a break-up, on the way home from getting a tattoo I didn't really think I was gonna get, or smoking a jib driving through Cambridge, Ma thinking I was gonna die. One of the greatest to see in person. Thanks guys.
Report as inappropriate
ehwells7
It's not actually them, just a cover band doing a lame cover.
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Yes! I'm not the only one who has heard their song in the Outback Steakhouse commercial! Therefore I am not crazy.
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