Of Montreal

★★★★★

Venue: Roadhouse, Manchester
Date: 01/06/07

With the summer months fast approaching from the heat haze of the horizon, it is inevitable that the demand for sunny indie-pop acts will exponentially increase. With a need for suitably carefree sentiments in mind, there were traditionally few better places to look (or listen) than the charmingly twee tones of American lo-fi troop Of Montreal.

However, as the band embark on a European tour to promote their oddly-titled current release Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, they appear to be carrying about with them a broodier and moodier sound. Born out of the personal trauma surrounding lead singer Kevin Barnes’s recent divorce, characteristic light-hearted vignettes have been replaced with emotionally powerful accounts of multifarious moods and antidepressants.

Nevertheless Barnes’s mental crises, aired in their most recent single ‘Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse’, still manage to exist above a danceable backdrop, despite detailing struggles with depression and his resultant “chemical” cure.

A chance to experience Of Montreal flex their visual flamboyance live is not one to be passed up lightly. Only then can it be seen whether the band can chase the winter clouds away with glowing musical rays or if they will be replaced by Barnes and an emotional rainstorm of his own.

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