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I was first caught by this track solely based on the name of the band, Oryx and Crake; it just happens to be one of my favorite Atwood novels. Musically, the band’s quite interesting. There are elements that remind me of that mid-period Of Montreal, yet there’s this added frivolity that sort of reminds me of Tilly and the Wall (it also closes in a Bowie/Bolan nod). Of course, all of these are just the things I hear in the songs, so you’re likely to find something entirely different. This September the band will release their new LP, Marriage, via Deer Bear Wolf.
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The first few minutes of splashing noise were a bit off-putting at first, but let this tune from Vows settle in on your ears. You’ll find a casual bit of sunny pop bursting through your speakers, similar to what Of Montreal used to offer in their earliest days. There’s an odd studio warble placed on the vocals, but if fits in quite nicely to the band’s sound on this track, as guitars cascade through the background. The group will be releasing their new record, Soon Enough Love, on June 2nd via Section Sign Records.
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When I heard the name Andy Gonzalez (ex-Of Montreal, The Music Tapes) I had one thing in mind before I even listened to the song. But, put your pretense aside, as the music you’ll hear form his Marshmallow Coast has a lot more in common with early Death Cab or Pinback. There’s a calming vocal touch, aided by a female backing, while the music has this smooth downtempo pop polish. It’s the new tune from his forthcoming Vangelis Rides Again, which will see a May 5th release via HHBTM.
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If you still somehow don’t know who Kevin Barnes and Of Montreal are, after the ever-impressive and prolific thirteen studio albums that he’s put out, I’m at a loss as to what to really say to you. Of Montreal is a household name at this point, and rightly so; this project has been around for almost twenty years now making slightly off kilter psychedelic indie rock for the ages. Aureate Gloom, the thirteenth in the vast collection from this group, finds the band striking a resonant chord once again, bringing together glam/trippy rock and funky lyrics to make for an odd yet enjoyable trip into whatever world Of Montreal are living in.
It’s remarkable after all these albums that this band is still able to put out the hits; Aureate Gloom has a fair number of tracks that feel simultaneously familiar and novel. Opening up the album is “Bassem Sabry,” which launches you right into the groovy realm of the band, as springy disco guitar puts the spunk in this song, and then Barnes’ voice steps in to spiral around with immaculate diction, all of which inspire the same twisted distortion of our own perception of the music. This opening number is a great start, and when Barnes says “I believe in witches/I believe in you,” he brings in yet another element of fantasy to the mix, but often the fantasy isn’t whimsical, but grounded in scathing words sometimes chastising a group or part of life. Later, on “Virgilian Lots,” the music mirrors this grounding with the eerie synths and the gritty guitars.
There’s also the ever-so-obvious Bowie influence, as well as Barnes’ play within this trope of alien spaceman rocker, which comes into play on tracks like “Aluminum Crowd,” where Barnes’ vocals ooze Bowie. But instead of this becoming just mere imitation, Barnes’ lyrics, as well as the structure of this song, give it enough of the band’s own signature to set it apart. It sort of feels like a futuristic imagining of the past, tying together the aspects of glam rock with modern sensibilities and elements that keep it fresh.
Aureate Gloom is a fun record simply in that it has enough funkyness to make you shimmy along with Barnes and company as well as some twisted and alternate reality-esque lyrics to escape into. Of Montreal have still got it, and they want to share with you so we can all trip down this psychedelic distorted, yet comforting road.
We here at ATH like to bring you tunes that you may not hear elsewhere, spending lots of time scouring the internet for the best jams so that you don’t have to. However, that doesn’t mean we still don’t like to report on some of those bigger name bands we already know and love. So in this new feature we’ll group together some of the tracks that blew up in internetland yesterday and give you the necessary details so you can stay hip and fresh. We also rated the tunes with our special scale so you know which is the best new shit. So listen up kids.
I’ve been jamming to the music of Of Montreal for well over a decade now, and I honestly never have an idea what on Earth Kevin is going to release with his band. Just last year they offered up the masterstroke, Lousy with Sylvianbriar, but it looks as if the group are going to delve back into their funky bits for their latest release, Aureate Gloom. Still, there’s something in Barnes’ composition, and his voice (!), that always draws me into his work, so any new album is bound to have something great, for my ears anyways. This new LP will be released by Polyvinyl Records on March 3rd, just in time for the band to bring the funk to their hordes of fans…including myself.
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|Location||The Mohawk (Outside)|
Ok, of Montreal‘s a pretty impressive band that puts on notoriously killer live shows. Oh, you’ve somehow never seen the weirdness that is Kevin Barnes & company in the live setting? Well, there’s a link just above where you can change that problem for under twenty bucks. If you’re like me and you’re always down for something a little funky, or if October’s got you feeling spooky, head over to the Mohawk and check out the psychedelic and flamboyantly twisted rock from this legendary band. Openers are Pillar Point, who sound like they’ll be a display of electronic delight to loosen up those dancing shoes.
Get in the mood with this eclectic little throwback tune from the band’s Skeletal Lamping:
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Despite his ability to ruffle the feathers of Ariel Pink, the dude still has a way of making tunes that fascinate me. This new single, “Black Ballerina,” has an interesting musical angle. Part of it reminds me of AP’s traditional work, though other parts seem to blend the smooth skills from Of Montreal with something you’d expect to hear Ian Dury release, and for all intents and purposes, I’m totally okay with that. I think the beats pretty solid, and I like the oddity that comes with any Pink touch. His new record, Pom Pom, will be available from 4AD on November 18th.[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/14-Black-Ballerina.mp3]
As the days draw closer to yet another festival in Austin, we’re starting to take a closer look at some of the lesser known bands on the list, and Secret Colours are my latest obsession. I think this Chicago act speaks to the festivals diversity this year, offering a poppier glint on the broader psych spectrum. Listening to their newest single reminds me of what a joy it was listening to early Of Montreal, using noisy touches of guitars and delicious bass parts to really suck you into the song. If you’re not going to the festival, then I at least suggest you make way for Positive Distractions II to make its way into your playlist on April 29th.
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