Skeletal Lamping

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Skeletal Lamping
Studio album by of Montreal
Released October 21, 2008
Genre Funk rock. glam rock, baroque pop
Length 57:56
Label Polyvinyl
Producer Kevin Barnes
of Montreal chronology
Icons, Abstract Thee
(2007)Icons, Abstract Thee2007
Skeletal Lamping
False Priest
(2010)False Priest2010
Singles from Skeletal Lamping
  1. "An Eluardian Instance"
    Released: 2008
  2. "Id Engager"
    Released: September 9, 2008
  3. "For Our Elegant Caste"
    Released: June 23, 2009
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 71/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. Club (B)[3]
Blender 4.5/5 stars[4]
ChartAttack 4.5/5 stars[5]
Drowned in Sound (9/10)[6]
Pitchfork Media (5.9/10)[7]
PopMatters (6/10)[8]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
Tiny Mix Tapes 3/5 stars[10]
URB 4.5/5 stars[11]

Skeletal Lamping is the ninth studio album by Athens, Georgia-based band of Montreal.

Kevin Barnes said about the title: "This record is my attempt to bring all of my puzzling, contradicting, disturbing, humorous... fantasies, ruminations and observations to the surface, so that I can better dissect and understand their reason for being in my head. Hence the title, Skeletal Lamping."[12] Lamping is the name of a hunting technique of using a powerful beam to dazzle animals to the extent that they can be approached closely and collected, inspected or shot.


As with most of Montreal albums, Kevin Barnes performed almost all the instrumental and vocal tracks himself.[13]

In an interview with Wireless Bollinger in 2007, Barnes described his concept for the follow-up to Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? as an album composed of hundreds of consecutive short segments ranging from thirty to fifty seconds in length, with the intention that it "feel like one long piece with hundreds of movements."

In an interview with Pitchfork Media, Barnes stated that of Montreal would continue to evolve with Skeletal Lamping:[14]

"Musically, it is sort of all over the place, too. There really isn't necessarily a sense of continuity there. It's definitely funkier. It's maybe developing off of things like "Faberge Falls for Shuggie" and "Labyrinthian Pomp" from Hissing Fauna. It's kind of moving things in those directions. It's something that I find exciting, as it's not something that I've really worked with a lot in the past. It still holds some mystery for me. I really feel there is something I can use in that genre. It's fun for me too because it kind of [...] goes against the kind and gentle side of indie rock. Funk music is not like that at all."


Skeletal Lamping was released on October 21, 2008. The album was released in different formats, including conventional CD and vinyl, as well as T-shirts, a button set, wall decals, and a paper lantern, the latter formats included a digital download code for the album itself.[15]

All items for the collection were designed by The Bee With Wheels (David Barnes) and Gemini Tactics (Nina Barnes), a coalition termed the 'Apollinaire Rave Collective'.[16] 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."[17]

The concept was explained directly on the album's packaging,

"The goal of the Skeletal Lamping Collection is to expand the perception of music packaging beyond traditional flat, square artwork. The album exists in seven different packaging formats: CD, LP, T-shirt, tote bag, button set, paper lantern, and wall decals. Each Item in the Skeletal Lamping Collection includes both the digital album and its unique packaging of the album art.

Ideally, every object you bring into your home should feel exceptional to you, otherwise, it just adds to the clutter and chaos of your life. We feel, theres no reason to produce another object that just sits on a shelf. We only want to produce objects that have functionality and can be treasured for their singularity. Objects that can transform a room, bend the mind and inform your dreams."

Georgie Fruit[edit]

Kevin Barnes as Georgie Fruit at a 2007 show in San Francisco

Georgie Fruit is the name of Kevin Barnes' African-American cross-dressing stage persona, similar in many ways to David Bowie's alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Georgie Fruit was first mentioned on Montreal's 2007 album Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? during the song "Labyrinthian Pomp".

In several interviews, Barnes has described the role of Georgie Fruit on Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?:[18]

"Barnes himself has described the album as a concept album, 'detailing his transformation from Kevin Barnes into Georgie Fruit.'

'The transformation takes place during "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal,' the 12-minute-long 'turning point' of the album."

Georgie Fruit plays a prominent role on Skeletal Lamping. In the same interview with Pitchfork Media, Barnes elaborated on the Georgie Fruit's background and character:

"The character's name is Georgie Fruit, and he's in his late forties, a black man who has been through multiple sex changes. He's been a man and a woman, and then back to a man. He's been to prison a couple of times. In the 1970s he was in a band called "Arousal", a funk rock band sort of like the Ohio Players. Then he went through a few different phases."[19]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Kevin Barnes.

  1. "Nonpareil of Favor" – 5:48
  2. "Wicked Wisdom" – 5:00
  3. "For Our Elegant Caste" – 2:35
  4. "Touched Something's Hollow" – 1:26
  5. "An Eluardian Instance" – 4:35
  6. "Gallery Piece" – 3:48
  7. "Women's Studies Victims" – 2:59
  8. "St. Exquisite's Confessions" – 4:35
  9. "Triphallus, to Punctuate!" – 3:23
  10. "And I've Seen a Bloody Shadow" – 2:23
  11. "Plastis Wafer" – 7:11
  12. "Death Isn't a Parallel Move" – 3:01
  13. "Beware Our Nubile Miscreants" – 4:52
  14. "Mingusings" – 3:01
  15. "Id Engager" – 3:24

Polyvinyl digital bonus EP[edit]

  1. Jimmy (M.I.A. cover) - 3:46[20]
  2. Feminine Effects - 2:56
  3. Little Rock - 0:58


  1. ^ "Skeletal Lamping by Of Montreal". Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ The A.V. Club review Archived December 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Blender review Archived 2009-01-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ ChartAttack review Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Drowned in Sound review Archived January 30, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Pitchfork Media review Archived March 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ PopMatters review Archived October 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Rolling Stone review Archived May 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Tiny Mix Tapes review Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ URB review Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Dumile, Ashraf (14 July 2008). "Of Montreal Split Heads With Skeletal Lamping". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  13. ^ dddddieland // Dec 5, 2011 at 12:12 am (2011-12-05). "An Interview with Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes". Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  14. ^ Mike Carriere (2007). "Interview: of Montreal". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  15. ^ The Skeletal Lamping Collection Archived December 30, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Appolinaire Rave Collective Archived October 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ 'We Will Only Propagate Exceptional Objects' Archived September 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Roger (2007). "A Touch of Blush Makes A Georgie". Brooklyn Rock City. Archived from the original on 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  19. ^ "Interviews: Of Montreal | Features". Pitchfork. 2007-11-19. Archived from the original on 2013-06-02. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  20. ^ Polyvinyl Record Co. Archived January 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]