Paralytic Stalks

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Paralytic Stalks
OfMontreal Paralytic Stalks 2012.jpg
Studio album by of Montreal
Released February 7, 2012
Recorded Sunlandic Studios
(Athens, Georgia)
Genre Psychedelic pop, progressive rock, experimental pop, contemporary classical music
Length 58:05
Label Polyvinyl
Producer Kevin Barnes
of Montreal chronology
Paralytic Stalks
Daughter of Cloud
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (62/100)[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
A.V. Club (B+)[3]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[4]
Drowned In Sound (7/10)[5]
Paste Magazine (7.2/10)[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars[8]
Tiny Mix Tapes 4.5/5 stars[9]
Under the Radar 8/10 stars[10]

Paralytic Stalks is the eleventh full-length studio album by psychedelic pop group, of Montreal. It was released on the Polyvinyl website and in stores on February 7, 2012. The band has released the album in several formats, including: Digital, CD, Cassette, Vinyl, and a special-edition "Fuchsia Purple" vinyl, which is limited to 1,500 copies. Later pressings of the vinyl were offered in yellow as well as black vinyl. All physical versions of the album feature free digital downloads. To support the release of the album, of Montreal toured America in early 2012.

Sound and Style[edit]

The recording of the album is dense, featuring dark tones and an indiscriminate eclectic nature both electronically and aesthetically. The album features a wide array of music, ranging from "pseudo-country" and, to a larger degree, neo-prog often switching and mixing music styles multiple times through the course of a song. Most of the recording was done with a Synclavier 9600 workstation. Kevin Barnes's lyricism also returns to the confessional style heard in Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, entailing dark topics such as revenge, self-hatred, the human condition, and his painful relationship with his wife Nina. It has been called his most personal recording to date.[11]


The album was recorded in Barnes' personal studio and was mixed at Chase Park Transduction with engineer Drew Vandenberg, who has mixed albums by Toro y Moi, Futurebirds, and Kishi Bashi. Kevin is the producer, songwriter, and co-engineer for the album. The album features a crew of hired session musicians for the first time in of Montreal's history and features horn and flute player Zac Colwell as a new addition to the band's line-up.[12] While Kevin Barnes is known to take primary creative control of his recordings, K. Ishibashi of Kishi Bashi was a known collaborator on this record and was said by Barnes to have helped shape the songs.[13]


The reception from critics has been mixed, with the average critical score being a 62 out of 100, according to Metacritic. Some have praised its emotional rawness,[14] while others thought its divergence from the band's previous poppy style was alienating.[15]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Kevin Barnes

No. Title Length
1. "Gelid Ascent"   4:17
2. "Spiteful Intervention"   3:40
3. "Dour Percentage"   4:39
4. "We Will Commit Wolf Murder"   5:41
5. "Malefic Dowery"   2:36
6. "Ye, Renew the Plaintiff"   8:45
7. "Wintered Debts"   7:33
8. "Exorcismic Breeding Knife"   7:41
9. "Authentic Pyrrhic Remission"   13:13


  • Mixed by Kevin Barnes and Drew Vandenberg at Chase Park Transduction
  • Mastered by Greg Calbi