Of Montreal

Published on December 5th, 2017

Of Montreal

of Montreal

An of Montreal concert is more than a show; it can be classified as an otherworldly experience. Band members in pig masks and leotards crowd surf on an inflatable raft, or wear robotic horse costumes with fake guns. Or beam rainbow camera projections on to their white outfits. Even after two decades, of Montreal still radiates the youthful quirk and ‘60s-inspired dance-pop weirdness of the band you first saw in a dingy club selling PBRs.

The band’s forever-young frontman, Kevin Barnes, is the pin on which of Montreal spins. With blue glitter splashed across his eyelids, he passionately sings about girls (like his daughter, Alabee) and Greek myths. And though the music is psychedelic, Barnes himself is not an advocate of creativity through hallucinogenics.

“well i don’t really do a lot of drugs, i’m more of a gin and tonic man now a days,” he posted in a 2013 Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), “i don’t normally write ‘under the influence,’ I find it distracting and often it just creates obstacles, i tend to write better when i’m just speeding on Yerba Matte [sic].”

Through 14 studio albums spanning 20 years — one album every 18 months on average — this mainstay of the eclectic, Athens, Georgia-based Elephant 6 Collective has channeled everything from pop to prog to electronica. Where else is there to venture? Of Montreal’s most recent album, “Innocence Reaches,” takes them back to their indie pop roots — but not entirely.

Barnes is still pulling inspiration from the Beach Boys and the Beatles, but also borrowing from EDM groups like Jack U. He told The Aquarian in 2016 that he wanted to “pay more attention” to his contemporaries — potential heresy in indie circles. “It’s important for artists to live in the moment and not even consider … other people’s desires or their work,” Barnes said.

The “Innocence Reaches” standout,It’s Different for Girls,“ also has contemporary resonance in light of the sexual assault allegations shaking show business and politics. Barnes surveys the social terrain and sings, “They’re not expected to sit/and take a lesser man’s shit.”

Of Montreal with Christina Schneider’s Genius Grant and Dead and Loving It perform December 9 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. ADVANCE TICKETS ~ Olivia Feldman

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