Lousy with Sylvianbriar
With Sylvanbriar, gone are the woozy synths and frenetic beats that have, for years, kept Of Montreal shows packed with twentysomethings on molly. Barnes instead gives this effort over to a sound inspired by the folk rock of the ‘60s and ‘70s, emphasizing his lyrics over stuffed-to-bursting production. And while his bitterness and blunt statements have in the past been veiled by noise and wild performance art, here they are presented quite baldly. Even newcomer vocalist Rebecca Cash’s lovely, sultry contributions can’t make lines like “What friendships you have left /They’re not derived from love /They’re just some warped form of charity” sound anything other than nauseously corrosive. Without the flouncy boogie Of Montreal once wrapped these sentiments in, Barnes’s gift for pointed observations about the people in his life has begun to express itself in malicious—and unappealing—ways.
Photo by Nina Barnes