of Montreal return with new album on Polyvinyl, share first track “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia”

of Montreal return with new album on Polyvinyl, share first track "Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia"
Photo: Ebru Yildiz

In the largely online world of the independent music press, it helps if you can give your record a ready-made angle so reporters don’t need to think too hard in order to contextualize you work within a compelling narrative. Artists don’t only sell their record, they also always sell the story of their record’s creation. No one (to my knowledge) has attempted to engage in serious critique of these stories, but the overblown silliness of some album rollouts these days (i.e. Arcade Fire last year and Justin Timberlake right now) suggests this might be a worthwhile endeavor.

of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes has been plying album-length narratives for a long time now, and he’s checked off a lot of the major album archetypes: the nervous breakdown album (Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer), the glam rock/funk alter ego album (Skeletal Lamping), and the divorce album (Paralytic Stalks), to name just a few. Barnes is a little too prolific to give every release a full-fledged narrative thrust (False Priest was the “more sex-funk but we brought back live instruments” albums), but he usually at least imbues each release with his own idiosyncratic spin.

But now it seems one concept/theme per album is a little tooooo easy for Barnes. Accordingly, of Montreal’s latest album, the just-announced White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, is actually being presented with two quasi-related angles.

The first story is basically that, well, this is Kevin Barnes’ first Of Montreal full-length since the 2016 election; and basically, he had a pretty normal, rational reaction to that news for one of our most ostentatiously bookwormy indie rock musicians: He got pissed and paranoid and read a bunch of Chomsky and James Baldwin.

The other narrative here is the album’s sonic sonic one: Barnes built this album to sound like extended club edits from the ‘80s, which, hey, that could be fun? You down? I’m down.

White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood is released March 9 on Polyvinyl. Along with the album’s announcement, Of Montreal have also released its first single, “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia.” Listen to it down below, and pre-order your own slice of Barnes’ 2016-via-1980’s electro-funk paranoia pie right here.

White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood tracklisting:

01. Soft Music/Juno Portraits Of The Jovian Sky
02. Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia
03. Writing The Circles/Orgone Tropics
04. Plateau Phase/No Careerism No Corruption
05. Sophie Calle Private Game/Every Person Is A Pussy, Every Pussy Is A Star!
06. If You Talk To Symbol/Hostility Voyeur

Of Montreal tour dates:

03.03.18 - Mexico City, Mexico - NRMAL
03.10.18 - Savannah, GA - Ships Of The Sea Museum and Savannah Stopover
03.22.18 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
03.23.18 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
03.24.18 - Richmond, VA - The Broadberry
03.25.18 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
03.26.18 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
03.27.18 - Maspeth, NY - Knockdown Center
03.28.18 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
03.29.18 - Millvale, PA - Mr. Small’s Theatre
03.30.18 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
03.31.18 - Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom
04.01.18 - Kalamazoo, MI - Bell’s Eccentric Café
04.02.18 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
04.03.18 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
04.04.18 - Des Moines, IA - Wooly’s
04.05.18 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
04.06.18 - Cincinnati, ON - The Woodward Theater
04.07.18 - Chattanooga, TN - Revelry Room
04.24.18 - Asheville, TN - The Grey Eagle*
04.25.18 - Nashville, TN - Basement East*
04.26.18 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom*
04.27.18 - Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar*
04.28.18 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater*
04.29.18 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge*
05.01.18 - Seattle, WA - Neumos*
05.02.18 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom*
05.03.18 - Berkeley, CA - UC Theatre*
05.04.18 - Los Angeles, CA - Teragram Ballroom*
05.05.18 - San Diego, CA - SOMA*
05.06.18 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom*
05.07.18 - Albuquerque, NM - Sister*
05.08.18 - Fort Worth, TX - Shipping and Receiving*
05.09.18 - Austin, TX - Mohawk*
05.10.18 - New Orleans, LA - The Howlin’ Wolf*
05.11.18 - Memphis, TN - 1884 Lounge @ Minglewood Hall*
05.12.18 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn*

* - with Locate S, 1

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