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Of Montreal Bio

"of Montreal" is an American indie pop band formed in Athens, Georgia, fronted by Kevin Barnes. It was among the second wave of groups to emerge from the Elephant Six Collective.


Created by Kevin Barnes after a failed romance with a woman from Montreal, Barnes was the only member of the "group" prior to his relocation to Athens, Georgia. There, he met Derek Almstead, later of the Circulatory System, M Coast, Elf Power, etc., and Bryan Poole, who also performs as The Late B.P. Helium. Together, they recorded their first album, ''Cherry Peel'', as well as ''The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit's Flower'' and ''The Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy''.

After production on ''The Gay Parade'' began in 1998, Almstead left the band to focus on his duties with Elf Power, another Elephant Six band from Athens, although he has since rejoined the band, touring with the band during the Sunlandic Twins tour and joining the band full-time after that, playing on the "Hissing Fauna..." album. Barnes recruited Jamey Huggins and Dottie Alexander, who had been performing together as Lightning Bug vs. Firefly, to play various instruments. Derek moved from drums to bass. They were soonafter joined by Marshmallow Coast's Andy Gonzales.

A number of singles and a re-release of ''The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit's Flower'' occurred before the release of the band's third album, ''The Gay Parade'' in 1999. With contributions from countless members of the Elephant Six collective at the time, it also featured artwork from Kevin's brother David Barnes, who would continue to do artwork for future albums.

Following the release of ''The Gay Parade'', the band would sign with Kindercore Records, who would release a number of singles and compilations. It wasn't until 2001 that ''Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse'' would be released as a new album with original material. The album again featured contributions from across the Elephant Six spectrum.

, Sweden in 2005In 2002, ''Aldhils Arboretum'' was released, with a slightly different sound than its predecessors, as the songs were more directly structured. A successful tour ensued, along with a tour-only EP.

Kindercore Records would fold shortly after the release of ''Arboretum'', and the state of of Montreal was also threatened. Kevin got married, and Andy and Derek left the band. Barnes, being uncomfortable with the unrest, as well as some divisions within the band, took to writing and performing their 2004 album ''Satanic Panic in the Attic'' mostly by himself. Released by Polyvinyl Records, it became one of their more successful efforts to that point, the album marked a shift to an electronic base, with drum machines and synthesizers featured in singles such as "Disconnect the Dots."

This style would continue to evolve into 2005's ''The Sunlandic Twins'', which was even more of Barnes solo effort. Recorded in Athens with the exception of one track, which was recorded in Norway, it was a much more pronounced electronic album. The album became a success, mostly due to the singles "So Begins Our Alabee" and the MTV clip for "Wraith Pinned to the Mist (and Other Games)."

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. Similarly, their B-side track, "Everyday Feels Like Sunday", is currently being used in television commercials for NASDAQ and Garmin GPS systems.

The band released several collections of singles in early 2006. Barnes recorded 90% of the band's 2007 release, ''Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?'' by himself, while living in Norway and Athens, Ga. The switch to autobiographical themes of suicide, depression and isolation of the album were a direct product of his troubled personal life during that period. Desperate Measures, by Matt Schild, accessed 29 January 2007


, Georgia, on March 24th, 2005
The group has a style that is typical of many Elephant 6 bands due to its interests in combining musical experimentation and the basic tenets of pop, such as catchy melodies and sing along choruses. The band's style has been influenced by not only more conventional indie pop and psychedelic music, but also by vaudeville and music hall on their earlier releases and by afrobeat and reggae in their more recent releases.

The band's style has been known to change between albums. At first, the band embraced a more simple, quirky, lo-fi indie pop sound, which occasionally bordered on twee pop. As time progressed, the band moved to a fuller sound, as seen on the concept albums ''The Gay Parade'', and its follow-up, ''Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse''. These albums contain more narrative lyrics, as opposed to the rather personal lyrical matter of those preceding it, and often imitating the style of old 1950s radio plays.

2004's ''Satanic Panic in the Attic'' marked the result of an evolving change in style. The sound shifted to something more electronic with traditional structures, to be further advanced in later albums and new songs. In their most recent releases and concerts they have fully embraced a sort of techno-pop glam image, with little of their previous incarnations surfacing.

Lyrically, their style has changed dramatically throughout the years. In the beginning, many songs were narratives of personal or humorous situations, such as "Tim, I Wish You Were Born A Girl", off of ''Cherry Peel''. This style, however, changed with ''The Gay Parade'', where many songs involve small narratives surrounding invented characters (in songs such as "Jacques Lamure," "The Autobiographical Grandpa," "Mimi Merlot" and "Rose Robert"). Others act as extracts from fictional conversations ("Advice From a Divorced Gentleman to His Bachelor Friend Considering Marriage" and "Good Morning Mr. Edminton" as examples). With ''Aldhil's Arboretum'' came a slight return to the previous writing style, except following more poppy, classical lyrical structures (such as the use of choruses, which are generally absent in the Gay Parade/Coquelicot years). This style continued throughout ''Satanic Panic'' and ''The Sunlandic Twins'' to an extent. On the band's most recent album, ''Hissing Fauna: Are You the Destroyer?'', the lyrics are much more personal than previously used, with songs detailing emotions within the speaker.

Another unique quality of the band is the fusion of ostensibly gloomy lyrics with bouncy, up beat melodies and hooks. On ''Aldhils Arboretum'', for example, the lyrics for tracks like "Doing Nothing" and "Old People in the Cemetery" focus on apathy, loneliness or death while being contrasted with cheerful instrumentation. Another example of this tendency is shown in their choice of covers; for example, Yoko Ono's "I Felt Like Smashing my Head Through a Clear Glass Window" from ''The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit's Flower''.

Side projects

True to the style of most Elephant Six recording artists, of Montreal's members have been in a variety of side projects and other bands.
*The band itself has performed as the backing band for Marshmallow Coast on record and on tour.
*"My First Keyboard" was the pseudonym used by Dottie Alexander to release the song "The You I Created" on the Kindercore singles club. of Montreal acted as her backing band.
*Kevin Barnes did a comedy tour with his wife, Nina, and his brother, David, called "A Pollinaire Rave."
*Jamey Huggins released an album under the name "James Husband" which featured a cover of The Beatles' "We Can Work it Out"
*Bryan Poole has a solo career as the Late B.P. Helium.
*Kevin Barnes has recently been collaborating with Andrew from MGMT, as Ocelot Fang.(More Info) *Derek Almstead has worked with many artists as a musician and engineer including his collaboration with Andy Gonzales M Coast.
* Kevin Barnes played keyboard in a song on Bright Eyes' album ''Letting Off the Happiness''.



"''Cherry Peel"''
July 15, 1997
"''The Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy"''
Kindercore Records
"''The Gay Parade"''
February 16, 1999
Kindercore Records
"''Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse"''
April, 2001
Kindercore Records
"''Aldhils Arboretum"''
September 24, 2002
Kindercore Records
"''Satanic Panic in the Attic"''
April 6, 2004
"''The Sunlandic Twins"''
April 12, 2005
"''Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?"''
January 23, 2007
"#72" (US)


*''Horse & Elephant Eatery (No Elephants Allowed): The Singles and Songles Album'' (CD/LP) - Bar/None Records - 2000
*''The Early Four Track Recordings'' (CD/LP) - Kindercore Records - 2001
*''An Introduction to of Montreal'' (LP) - Earworm - 2001
*''If He Is Protecting Our Nation, Then Who Will Protect Big Oil, Our Children?'' (CD) - Track & Field Organisation - 2003
*''The Gladiator Nightstick Collection'' (LP) - Devil in the Woods - 2004
*''The Satanic Twins'' (Limited Edition LP/Digital release) - Polyvinyl - 2006
*''of Montreal Sampler'' (Free Promo CD) - Polyvinyl - 2006


*''The Bird Who Ate the Rabbit's Flower'' (CD/LP) - Kindercore - 1997
*''The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit's Flower'' (CD/LP) - Kindercore - 1998
*''Deflated Chime, Foals Slightly Flower Sibylline Responses'' (CD) - Polyvinyl - 2006
*''Icons, Abstract Thee'' (CD) - Polyvinyl, 2007


*"Nicki Lighthouse" (7") - 100 Guitar Mania - 1998
*"Happy Happy Birthday To Me Singles Club: November" (7") - Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records - 1999
*"Archibald of the Balding Sparrows" (7") - Kindercore - 2000 (Split with Marshmallow Coast)
*"Kindercore Singles Club: September" (7") Kindercore - 2001 (Split with Ladybug Transistor)
*"Split With the Late B.P. Helium" (7") - Jonathan Whiskey - 2001
*"Jennifer Louise" (7") - Track & Field Organisation - 2003
*"Microuniversity" (7") - Park The Van Records - 2006
*"Voltaic Crusher"/"Undrum to Muted Da" (7") - Suicide Squeeze Records - 2006
*"She's a Rejector" (7") - Polyvinyl Records - December 2006


*''Music from the OC: Mix 5'' (2005 � Warner Bros./Wea)

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