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Of Montreal - False Priest

This album will be a certified Autumn fave.

Driven by frontman Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal are one of the most accomplished bands of their time. Boasting a massive discography, years of touring and at least seven former members (leaving a solid five, at least for the time being), ‘False Priest’ marks the tenth album from the Athens, Georgia hipsters. With an ever evolving sound, this latest record moves away from the lo-fi vibe created by MIDI instruments and adopts a more established layering of real instrumentation. Calling upon two established R&B stars to lend their unique sound, ‘False Priest’ is not dissimilar from previous offering, yet at the same time, is captivating in its own, distinct way. What we’re trying to say, in this very roundabout way, is that it’s good.

‘I Feel Ya Strutter’, the first track on this thirteen song effort, is catchy with a distinct jazz vibe – hooky in all the right places. The pace slows a little for ‘Our Riotous Defects’, but only for a while, just long enough to catch your breath, before picking up for a layered instrumental, accompanied by spoken word relaying matters of the heart. Janelle Monae lends her twinkly vocals to this one, no doubt repaying Barnes for his contribution to her album. There is a distinct ‘romantic/sexual’ focus throughout most of the tracks, highlighted nicely on ‘Sex Karma’: ‘Ain’t nobody do me better, when you hit me I’m a cloud, baby, I’m a cloud.’ Pulling in a rather delightful guest vocalist, Solange Knowles (yep, as in, BEYONCE’s sister), the female vocal harmonies are sweet and lilting, taking the edge off the raw and blunt lyrics. Also, Of Montreal and a Knowles sister, did anyone see that coming?! A little simpler, instrumentation wise, is the refreshing ‘Famine Affair’. Stripped of the tricks and hooks of neighbouring tracks, this one has a less produced, ‘raw’ feel, exposing revealing, heartfelt lyrics such as, ‘you marginalise me, you sabotage me…you even tried to make me ugly so you could have a reason to leave.’ Deep. Other standout tracks include ‘Enemy Gene’, with its futuristic, dreamy softness and ‘Coquet Coquette’ which relies on heavy drums, making for a deeper, grittier sound.

If you’re a hardened Of Montreal fan, you will not lose interest with this latest offering. If you are newer to the game, you will not look back (aside from tearing apart their back catalogue) once ‘False Priest’ pulls you in. Perhaps more relatable than their past efforts, we think this album will be a certified Autumn fave.

Tags: Of Montreal, Reviews, Album Reviews

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