Everytime I get even the slightest hint of a new Of Montreal album being released, I start to get overly excited. Of Montreal is by far the most interesting band of our time. Kevin Barnes is a creative genius and there isn’t really another way to phrase it. Everything is fair game and there are no limitations when it comes to making their records. Just when you think you know what direction the band is going in, they manage to change it up a bit.
“Skeletal Lamping” is due to be released on Polyvinyl Records on October 21st. The original release date was pushed back from October 7th because there was a problem with the printers they were using for the artwork. In any case, diehard Of Montreal fans have already had “Skeletal Lamping” for weeks. Who can wait so long to hear pure genius? Not me thats for sure. So I want to give you a glimpse inside of the new Of Montreal record. It is like entering another world.
Nonpareil of Flavor opens “Skeletal Lamping” with a burst of energy. The piano at the beginning makes you wonder exactly what you are in for, and then suddenly you know whats going on. Apparently this song was supposed to be the last song of the record but got moved up to first place. Its a great opening for the record and starts to set the mood for whats to come. The harmonies are also incredibly smooth.
Wicked Wisdom starts with a surprising Kevin Barnes potty mouth situation that continues into an Of Montreal dance party…and its only the beginning. With classic Barnes lyrics like “Why is it that white girls don’t have any ideas?” you’ll be intrigued throughout. Watch for the mood change around 3:46.
For Our Elegant Caste which was originally referred to as “We Can Do It Softcore” from last year’s tour has made it onto the record. I have a friend that thinks its hillarious that I like this song as much as I do. The addition of the bongos to this song is a nice surprise, and it adds to the song’s incredible beat. Some of the vocal harmonies remind me a bit of something you would hear on “Satanic Panic in the Attic”. This song also brings the first return on the record of Kevin’s alter ego, Georgie Fruit.
Touched Something’s Hollow slows the record down a notch. A beautiful song that consists only of Kevin’s voice and a piano. Its a sad love song if you will.
An Eluardian Instance jumps right back into things starting off with a horn section. I cannot wait to see this song live and it is currently my favorite track on the record. Once again they start off with great harmonies and take a few twists and turns. “Do you remember, our last summer as independents?” Kevin sings several times in the middle as the harmones start to pile in. The ending that starts at 4:00 is truly a surprise.
Gallery Piece is a fun little dance song. The guitar riff is pretty infectious and so is the overall melody of the track.
Women’s Studies Victims is a haunting song in every way. The little vocal effect on Kevin’s voice is a nice touch. This song is also another one that changes up towards the end. It seems to get a little more upbeat in tempo. Let the party continue.
St. Exquisite’s Confession is Of Montreal’s attempt at Soul music. It works, it does, but it takes a bit of getting used to. I wonder what this song will be like live. The piano and guitar in the song mixed with Kevin’s vocals are such a good combination. When the harmonies come in, it gets even better.
Triphallus, to Punctuate! is my second favorite song off of the album. The first line “She says we wear the party all over our bodies and faces” is only the start to this great track. When the chorus kicks in, so does the jaunty piano. Thats right, I said jaunty. There is no other way to describe it. “I supported you kid, when no one else did. You know I waved your flag, when no one else did” Kevin cries out. Is that Georgie talking to Kevin? Maybe.
And I’ve Seen a Blood Shadow isn’t as dance oriented as most of the other tracks. The piano is featured more and one again their classic harmonies kick in midway through the song. The song ends with a high pitched scream going into…..
Plastis Wafers, which starts as an undeniable dance song. Warning though, it is kind of long clocking in at over 7 minutes long. It does manage to be an extremely interesting tune, that has many changes within it. One more intriguing than the next, oddly, all fitting together just perfectly.
Death is Not a Parallel Move I couldn’t quite figure out the first time that I heard it. I’m still not 100% sure I get it at all still. The song basically starts with a beat with Kevin’s voice in a chamber sounding room. It goes into a song that was trying to be ‘dancable’, and then 50 seconds into it, it becomes a folk song. Acoustic guitars and everything. Its just another surprise on the record. A lovely surprise.
Beware our Nubile Miscreants is another one of my favorite songs on the record. Blending infectious harmonies and dance beats that will have you dancing in your seat. This is also one of my favorite lyrical stories on the record. You have to listen to it to find out. No spoilers!
Mingusings reminds me a bit of something sort of ’80s inspired’ at first. This is not a bad thing. I find this song to be very distracting actually. I just have to dance to it when I hear it. I’m actually doing that right now. I’m not kidding. I love the breakdown by 1:50 that slows everything down a little only to speed it up again.
Id Engager the first single off the record starts with a Kevin shriek if you will. Another one of my favorite songs on the record. I actually wish the song was further up on the album tracklisting. “When asking why our kisses are sorrowful, remember the howl of our first verse” sings Barnes right as the harmonies start to chime in again. The song makes the album go out making us dance….just like it came in.
If I gave ‘Album Ratings’, which I don’t like to do, “Skeletal Lamping” would get a 12 out of 10. Yes, I know thats not possible, but they get bonus points for being extraordinary. If you really liked “Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?” and “Sunlandic Twins,” you will adore “Skeletal Lamping”. Actually I think it is Of Montreal’s best record to date. You can quote me on that.
Of Montreal is going on an extensive tour starting the beginning of October with an October 10th show in NYC (Yay!). Check out the following links below to get your Of Montreal fix.
Download the first single Id Engager