Earlier this week, I reviewed the new of Montreal album “False Priest”. I wouldn’t say I was unkind towards the band, but the review wasn’t completely positive. Die hard fans might not like what I had to say, but I stand by what I think are fair words. That being said, I’m white hot about this session the “band” did on Minnesota Public Radio just yesterday. The reason I put “band” in quotes is because Kevin Barnes performs solo, with just him and a piano. The results are remarkably awesome. Stripping back all the layers that make up each of Montreal song and taking it to such a minimal level actually works wonders. Barnes does “Flunkt Sass vs. The Rute Plume” to start and there’s something so emotionally satisfying about the rendition. At many of their live shows recently, the band has also been performing the song “Tonight” by the obscure folk artist Sibylle Baier, which Barnes does here as well. Finally, Janelle Monae (who’s currently on tour with of Montreal) steps up and does her part on the “False Priest” cut “Enemy Gene”, and the piano only version is once again pretty jaw-droppingly great. For the interview portion, should you want to hear it, Barnes talks a little about his dislike of discussing the meaning of lyrics and the importance of having a strong visual element within live performances. It’s good, and not what I expected to hear from him. So you could say this is one great session on the whole, and it’s actually served a good point in getting me to develop a new found appreciation for of Montreal. Also, if Kevin Barnes released an album of solo piano songs, I’d buy it in an instant.
Of Montreal – Flunkt Sass Vs. The Rute Plume (Live on MPR)
Of Montreal – Tonight (Sibylle Baier cover, Live on MPR)
Of Montreal – Enemy Gene ft. Janelle Monae (Live on MPR)
Stream the entire interview/performance