Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #74 Of Montreal
The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
#74 Of Montreal
Of the famed Elephant 6 collective, Of Montreal has enjoyed the most success and longevity. While other bands in the collective have broken up (Beulah), gone into hiding (Neutral Milk Hotel/Jeff Mangum), or continued to release decent enough albums (Apples In Stereo), Kevin Barnes and company have morphed from a lo-fi, twee psych-pop group to an electronic glam-pop band, only gaining fans and acclaim in the process.
Much has been said about the band’s theatricality and affectations, but one shouldn’t let all of that distract from the music. Though they have changed stylistically over the years, Of Montreal’s love of blissful pop melodies - that just might be the closest sonic approximation of a sugar high I’ve heard yet - is one thing that has not. Even the most depressing and bleak songs on the band’s latest and most serious album yet, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, feature layered “ooh-oohs” over squiggly synths and bouncy electronic drum beats.
Of Montreal has the ability to take elements from disparate genres and bring them seamlessly into their unique world, making us forget they were different in the first place. Funk, dance hall, vaudeville, indie rock, glam, and electronica are weaved adroitly together as if they were always meant to be united as a glorious, amorphous mold under a giant pop quilt. The band might exist in their own world, but it sounds like one I’d like to live in, where I can marry all of my close friends and live in a big house together by an angry sea.