of Montreal

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of Montreal
of Montreal performing in 2015
of Montreal performing in 2015
Background information
OriginAthens, Georgia, U.S.
Years active1996–present
Associated acts
MembersKevin Barnes
Clayton Rychlik
Jojo Glidewell
Davey Pierce
Nicolas Dobbratz
Past membersBryan Poole
Derek Almstead
Dottie Alexander
James Huggins
Andy Gonzalez
Julian Koster
Jason NeSmith
Nina Grøttland
Matthew Paris Dawson
Ahmed Gallab
Thayer Sarrano
Zac Colwell
Kaoru Ishibashi
Rebecca Cash
Bob Parins
Bennett Dean Lewis

of Montreal is an American indie pop band from Athens, Georgia. It was founded by frontperson Kevin Barnes in 1996, named after a failed romance between Barnes and a woman "of Montreal." The band is identified as part of the Elephant 6 collective. Throughout its existence, of Montreal's musical style has evolved considerably and drawn inspiration from 1960s psychedelic pop acts.



Kevin Barnes founded of Montreal, allegedly naming it for a failed romance with a woman from Montreal, Quebec.[1] Barnes was the only member of the group prior to their[a] relocation to Athens, Georgia. There, they met Derek Almstead (Circulatory System, Marshmallow Coast, Elf Power) and Bryan Poole, who also performs as The Late B.P. Helium. Together, they recorded their debut album, Cherry Peel, and subsequent releases The Bird Who Ate the Rabbit's Flower and The Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy.

After production on The Gay Parade, the band's third album, began in 1998, Poole left the band to focus on his involvement with Elf Power, another Elephant Six band.[1] Barnes then recruited James Husband and Dottie Alexander, who had been performing together as Lightning Bug vs. Firefly.[2] Derek moved from drums to bass, and Marshmallow Coast's Andy Gonzales joined soon after. Prior to the release of The Gay Parade in 1999, of Montreal released a number of singles and a re-release of The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit's Flower.


Following the release of The Gay Parade, the band signed with Kindercore Records, and in 2001, the concept album Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse was released. [3]

Kindercore Records would fold shortly after the release of Aldhils Arboretum, and Andy and Derek left the band. Barnes took to writing and performing their 2004 album Satanic Panic in the Attic mostly by themself. It was released by Polyvinyl Records.

In 2005 The Sunlandic Twins was released.


of Montreal performing in Athens, Georgia (2007)

Kevin Barnes recorded most of the band's 2007 release, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, by themself while living in Norway and Athens, Georgia. Barnes also released a companion CD to Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? called Icons, Abstract Thee.[4] In 2007, Kevin Barnes performed five songs nude during a performance in Las Vegas.[5] In Paris, they did a Take-Away Show acoustic video session shot by Vincent Moon.

of Montreal's next album, Skeletal Lamping, was released on October 21, 2008. It was released in ten different formats, including conventional CD and vinyl, as well as T-shirts, button sets, wall decals, tote bags, and a paper lantern, the latter formats complete with a digital download code for the album.[6] All items for the collection were designed by The Bee With Wheels (David Barnes) and Gemini Tactics (Nina Barnes). In an essay addressing the concept behind the album's release, Kevin Barnes stated, "We feel that there's no reason to produce another object that just sits on a shelf. We only want to produce objects that have a function and that can be treasured for their singularness."[7] In an interview with NPR, Kevin Barnes revealed that the concept of the CD may be going the way of the 8-track in favor of MP3 downloads. David Barnes joked that fans would buy the album via MP3 download and the version that comes with an amazing sandwich.[8]

In August 2009, the band contributed a T-shirt design, which was printed and sold through the Yellow Bird Project website to raise money for the St. Judes Children's Hospital. The shirt was designed by David Barnes.[9]

During this era, the band lent its songs many times to commercials, television programs, and films. The song "Wraith Pinned to the Mist (And Other Games)" can be heard on radio and television commercials (with words changed) for an advertisement for Outback Steakhouse.[10] Similarly, their song "Every Day Feels Like Sunday" was used in television commercials for NASDAQ.[11] "A Sentence of Sorts In Kongsvinger" was used in a Comcast commercial.[12] "Gronlandic Edit" was used for a T-Mobile commercial which also featured the band as actors.[13]

Teaming up with Jon Brion, Barnes traveled to Ocean Way Recording to record False Priest.[14]

On October 25, 2011 of Montreal released a Cassette Box Set of all 10 full-length albums via Joyful Noise Recordings. The release was limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, and housed in a custom-built wooden box (screen-printed with original artwork from David Barnes). Each of the 10 cassettes were pressed on multi-colored tape shells and included original album art. Like their previous cassette release, MP3 download was included.[15]

Kevin Barnes had revealed some information on the following album in an interview with Pitchfork Media.[16] On October 20, 2011, Barnes announced that the next album was complete.[17] In November 2011, the band released a new track titled "Wintered Debts" via the band's Soundcloud site, a track off the new album Paralytic Stalks. In January 2012, of Montreal released "Dour Percentage," the first single from the new album. Paralytic Stalks was released on February 7, 2012. [18]

On November 12, 2012, the band created a Kickstarter page to help in the funding of a career-spanning, feature-length documentary called Song Dynasties.[19] The film will consist of footage collected throughout of Montreal's entire career, including touring and studio sessions, as well as other musicians such as Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT. The tentative release window for Song Dynasties was announced as Spring 2013. An update regarding the documentary's progress was posted on the band's Facebook site in February.[20]


Performing at the Positivus Music Festival in Riga last 2014

On April 25, 2013, of Montreal posted an announcement on their Facebook page stating that a new album entitled Lousy with Sylvianbriar had been completed.[21] The post went into detail about the album's conception, including that Barnes' writing occurred while on a "self imposed isolation experiment in San Francisco" in early 2013. They were influenced by Sylvia Plath, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, and the Flying Burrito Brothers in their writing. The album was recorded with a new lineup of musicians, including Jojo Glidewell, Nicolas Dobbratz, Bennett Lewis, and Bob Parins, with Clayton Rychlik and Kevin Barnes as the only returning members. The album and subsequent tour also featured Rebecca Cash on vocals. Lousy with Sylvianbriar was released on October 8, 2013. On July 10, 2013, the band released the first single from the album, entitled "Fugitive Air."[22] On July 31, 2013, they announced that they would be touring their new album in October and November.[23] This tour featured the same musicians that performed on the album, instead of longtime band members such as Bryan Poole and Dottie Alexander.[citation needed]

By means of a Facebook post and a Kevin Barnes interview conducted by Stereogum.com, of Montreal's album Aureate Gloom was announced. The record was influenced by "the mid-to-late 1970s music scene in New York," including bands such as Talking Heads and Led Zeppelin. The album captures Barnes' emotions borne from their separation from their wife of 11 years and its aftermath. Barnes described the album as being "all over the place musically", lending to its reflection of their mindset during the time of its creation. The album was released March 3, 2015.[24]

In August 2016, of Montreal released Innocence Reaches, which incorporated new, EDM-inspired sounds, as well as the progressive rock sounds of the previous two albums.[25] For the tour following the album's release, bassist Davey Pierce returned to the band, replacing Bob Parins.

On January 13, 2017, of Montreal released a new EP by surprise, entitled Rune Husk.[26] On March 9, 2018, the album White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood was released on Polyvinyl, with singer Barnes explaining that the sound was influenced by "extended dance mixes" from the 1980s.[27]

The band released its sixteenth studio album, UR FUN, on January 17, 2020.[28]

of Montreal released its seventeenth studio album, I Feel Safe with You, Trash, on March 5, 2021.[29]



Side projects[edit]

True to the style of most Elephant Six recording artists, Of Montreal's members have been in a variety of side projects with other bands:


Studio albums[edit]


  1. ^ Barnes uses she/her, he/him, and they/them pronouns. This article uses singular they for consistency.


  1. ^ a b "interview archive: 2007-01-29 - The Daily Californian". Theofmontrealinterviewarchive.blogspot.com. June 24, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  2. ^ "interview archive: 2006-03-16 - Optical Atlas". Theofmontrealinterviewarchive.blogspot.com. June 23, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "Of Montreal: Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "NSFW: Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes NAKED! | News". Pitchfork. February 22, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  6. ^ "The Skeletal Lamping Collection". Polyvinylrecords.com. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  7. ^ [2] Archived September 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Ganz, Jacob (December 3, 2009). "NPR: The Decade In Music: How Musicians Create". National Public Radio. Retrieved December 4, 2009.
  9. ^ Riley, Jack (January 7, 2009). "Yellow Bird Project: Harnessing indie power to help those in need". The Independent. Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  10. ^ "Kevin Barnes: "Selling out isn't possible" | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada". Straight.com. November 17, 2007. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  11. ^ "You Ain't No Picasso". Youaintnopicasso.com. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  12. ^ "If You Like of Montreal, Maybe You Will Also Like Comcast HD". Stereogum. January 20, 2009. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  13. ^ "Post: Of Montreal and Band of Horses... or, to sell a song for a commercial or not to sell a song for a commercial? | Indianapolis, Indiana". Indy.com. November 21, 2007. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  14. ^ "Interview with Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal: The False Priest Preys | The Aquarian Weekly". Theaquarian.com. September 15, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  15. ^ "Of Montreal release 10-album Cassette Box Set via Joyful Noise". Joyfulnoiserecordings.com. September 12, 2011. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  16. ^ "of Montreal's Kevin Barnes Talks New Album, Cassette Box Set, His Career | News". Pitchfork. September 14, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  17. ^ "Twitter / xxofMontrealxx: I'm very happy to say, our". Archive.is. Archived from the original on December 17, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  18. ^ "of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks". Polyvinylrecords.com.
  19. ^ "of Montreal "Song Dynasties" Feature-Length Documentary". of Montreal via Kickstarter.com. November 12, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  20. ^ "Our editor, hard at work. Song Dynasties is coming along!". of Montreal via Facebook. February 27, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  21. ^ "I'm so happy to say..." of Montreal via Facebook. April 25, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  22. ^ "Of Montreal Announce New Album Lousy With Sylvianbriar, Share "fugitive air"". July 10, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  23. ^ Grant Golden (July 31, 2013). "of Montreal Announces Fall 2013 Tour". Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  24. ^ "Q&A: Kevin Barnes On Of Montreal's Next Album Aureate Gloom". Stereogum.com. October 2, 2014.
  25. ^ "Of Montreal Announce New Album "Innocence Reaches", Share New Song "it's different for girls"". pitchfork.com. June 1, 2016.
  26. ^ "Of Montreal Release New EP Rune Husk: Listen". Archived from the original on January 19, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  27. ^ Blais-Billie, Braudie. "Of Montreal Announce New Album White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, Share New Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  28. ^ Strauss, Matthew (November 14, 2019). "Of Montreal Announce Tour and New Album UR FUN, Share New Song "Peace to All Freaks": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  29. ^ Finlayson, Ray. "Album Review: of Montreal – I Feel Safe With You, Trash". Beats Per Minute.
  30. ^ "Warner Music Group Official Store". store.warnermusic.com. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  31. ^ "Artist Info: Sinkane". InSound. Retrieved October 23, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ Phili, Stelios (May 25, 2010). "Q&A: Solange Knowles On Why Working With Kevin Barnes "Makes All the Fucking Sense in The World"". Blogs.villagevoice.com. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  33. ^ "Kishi Bashi To Tour With Sondre Lerche. Release EP on Aerobic International". Ofmontreal.net. May 26, 2011. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.

External links[edit]