Encased in Love and Paranoia
Kevin Barnes and his experimental pop product of a band, Of Montreal, have created a dance anthem for ’80s lovers everywhere. Based on extended dance remixes, self-love and a failed marriage, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood is an album for the people. Proceeding their surprise EP, Rune Husk, last year and 2016s full-length album, Innocence Reaches, Barnes decided to switch things up. Instead of a classic take on live band recording, he took a new approach at making music through remote collaborations with Zac Colwell, Clayton Rychlik and JoJo Glidewell.
The six lengthy track album’s lead song, “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia” displays the unraveling fabricated reality that we know as life unfolding before us. The extremely robotic feel of the eight-minute song combines electronic beats and Barnes’ hopeless undertoned vocals. “Sophie Calle Private Game/Every Person Is a Pussy, Every Pussy Is a Star!” creates more of a life’s too-short-to-care vibe. The chorus reads “Let’s take this too far so we can see if it is far enough / I should move slower, but the last year has been kind of rough / I pass the check cause I don’t care about that kind of stuff / I have to trust the optics of you.” All six tracks combined create a perfect harmony of depressing, not usually talked about topics and an ’80s dance party.
The album creates a deceptively relatable feeling and continues to grow the movement of one’s willingness to put themselves out there and let their deepest, darkest feelings show to people from around the world. Barnes wrote in an open statement about the album, “I feel a switch was recently turned on in my brain and now I’m beginning to see through the lies that have been fed to me my whole life by the masters of media and by those who control and manipulate the narrative of our cultural identity and social order.” In a time of incredibly different political standings and revolutionary strides, music is as pure as it’s ever going to be, and Of Montreal takes the lead.