Of Montreal shares new single “My Fair Lady”

Of Montreal shares new single "My Fair Lady"

After the release of lead single “it’s different for girls,” Of Montreal are back with another single, “my fair lady,” the second track off Innocence Reaches, due on August 12th via Polyvinyl Records. On “my fair lady,” frontman Kevin Barnes bids adieu to a familiar figure over sax-streaked disco funk.

The project’s 14th LP follows two full decades of mercurial creative mania: swallowing up ’60s psych-pop, Prince-ly funk, and glammy prog in turn; morphing freely between full-band affair and cloistered confessional booth; comprising lyrics both painfully personal and absurdly and recently drawing site-specific inspiration from culture capitals like San Francisco or New York City. The thread that runs through it all is Athens, GA’s Kevin Barnes, and Innocence Reaches finds him at his most light-hearted in years, working a Parisian stint, Top 40 sounds, and his newfound single status into the kaleidoscopic swirl. Even as he continues to sift the sonic and emotional detritus of his past, Barnes sums up his current mood in the opener’s title: “let’s relate.”

The most immediate surprise is the sound. Innocence Reaches is touched by contemporary electronica, indie pop, and EDM. For the first time in his career, Barnes tuned into now. “Forever I’ve been detached from current music,” he says. “I got into this bubble of only being in some other time period. I came up picking apart the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and symphonic pieces. But last year, I was hearing Jack Ü, Chairlift, Arca, and others, thinking about low end and sound collage. It was an extra layer to geek out on.”

Paris helped with that. Barnes lived in a friend’s studio for two weeks. It was in an apartment complex and, as he prefers to work at night, he couldn’t thrash loud instruments for fear of noise complaints from the neighbors. But the in-house arsenal of vintage synthesizers and drum machines was fair game-check the skittering beats of “a sport and a pastime” and thick hum of “chap pilot.”

By day, Barnes wandered Père Lachaise Cemetery, sat at cafés and wrote poems, read Jeans Ganet and Cocteau, or eavesdropped on conversations he couldn’t translate. “Being in that place where no one looks at me twice and I can’t even understand the language was like entering a parallel universe,” recalls Barnes. “It was cathartic and inspiring to amputate myself from my normal life and feel like an individual outside of all the baggage and memories.”

Enjoying anonymity, he sorted through the inner wreckage left by his divorce two years prior, and took stock of the briefer relationships since. “my fair lady” bids adieu to a familiar figure over sax-streaked disco-funk, but we soon meet Sarah from Detroit on darkwave dream “ambassador bridge,” and Gabrielle the Athenian Beach Goth amid the trappy space-glitch of “trashed exes.” In “les chants de maldoror,” our hero cooly declares, “We only act nicely when we’re ruining hotel beds/I greeted you in a hundred doorways.” Innocence Reaches continues of Montreal’s recent autobiographical streak, which finds Barnes “fetishizing reality,” as he puts it.

But he’s concerned with a broader reality as well. “it’s different for girls” is an exploration of the “dilemme féminin”. Combining Daft Punk’s aptitude for groove with LCD Soundsystem’s wit-an endlessly quotable track that has Barnes outlining the dangers inherent in binary gendering: “It’s different for girls,from when they are children they’re de-personalized, aggressively objectified…” and later Barnes sings “It’s different for girls, they are mercurial creatures, not a masculine dissonance or sexual currency”. The song is less feminine anthem and more pop exegesis of societal codes. “though some women are demons all of them are God”. Indeed.

Tour Dates:
9/2 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
9/3 – Charleston, SC @ Charleston Pour House
9/4 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
9/5 – Norfolk, VA @ Work Release
9/6 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Jefferson
9/7 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
9/8 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
9/9 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
9/10 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
9/11 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
9/12 – Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street Ballroom
9/13 – South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
9/14 – Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
9/15 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
9/16 – Detroit, MI @ The Majestic Theatre
9/17 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
9/18 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Bells Eccentric Café
9/19 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
9/20 – Madison, WI @ The Majestic Theatre
9/21 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Woodward Theater
9/22 – St. Louis, MO @ Ready Room
9/23 – Memphis, TN @ The Hi Tone Café
9/24 – Chattanooga, TN @ Revelry Room
10/12 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
10/13 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall
10/14 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall
10/15 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Cedar Cultural Center
10/16 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
10/17 – Denver, CO @ The Bluebird
10/18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/19 – Boise, ID @ El Korah Shrine
10/20 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
10/21 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
10/22 – Arcata, CA @ The Kate Buchanan Room at Humbolt State University
10/23 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
10/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
10/25 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent
10/26 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
10/27 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
10/28 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
10/29 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s Downtown
10/30 – Mobile, AL @ Soul Kitchen
10/31 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West

of Montreal
Innocence Reaches
(Polyvinyl Records)
August 12, 2016

1. let’s relate
2. it’s different for girls
3 gratuitous abysses
4. my fair lady
5. les chants de maldoror
6. a sport and a pastime
7. ambassador bridge
8. def pacts
9. chaos arpeggiating
10. nursing slopes
11. trashed exes
12. chap pilot