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The Sunlandic Twins (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

Kevin Barnes' seventh Of Montreal album continues in his traditional vein of toying and teasing our memories of '60s pop, fed through whichever other fad or fashion most appeals to him at the time. In this instance, it's "21st century ADD electro-cinematic avant disco," which is a deliciously protracted way of saying quirky rhythms, lush harmonics, and a warm spot on the same side of the bed that the Polyphonic Spree occasionally share. The most deceptive angle to the album probably has to do with the titles — it's unlikely whether the most obtuse mind could ever imagine tapping its toes to something called "Wraith Pinned to the Mist (And Other Games)," while "Forecast Fascist Future" simply shouldn't sound like a British Beach Boys, pebble-dashed with Ray Davies' finest harmonic daydreams, and then piped into a nursery where the infant Frank Zappa lays sleeping. Elsewhere, "Our Spring Is Sweet, Not Fleeting" may be little more than a minute long, but you live through great swathes of Rosemary's Baby while it's playing. To harp on about the "obvious" precedents that aging ears can pick out of Of Montreal's sonic stew, however, is to overlook all that is so savagely entertaining about their music (plus, it makes them sound like a High Llamas tribute band, which is unfair as well). Rather, Sunlandic Twins is an album to leave playing while you're going about your daily business. Then see how quickly you discover its 13 tracks burrowing so deeply into your skull that it's as though you'd lived with its jerking, burbling, and never less than transcendental swirlings for ever.


Formed: 1996 in Athens, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The brainchild of singer/guitarist Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal was among the second wave of bands to emerge from the sprawling Elephant 6 collective. A native of Athens, Georgia, Barnes was inspired to form the euphoric indie pop group in the wake of a broken romance with a woman from Montreal. He signed with Bar/None Records while living in Florida, subsequently moved to Cleveland and Minneapolis in search of compatible bandmates, and finally returned home to collaborate with bassist Bryan Helium...
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