Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday December 1st 2015


What Of It?

Of Montreal Plays Mobiles Soul Kitchen
By Hana Frenette

Of Montreals founder and front man Kevin Barnes isnt the kind of performer who plays coy with the audience, smiling and nodding. Hes either riding a white horse on stage while wearing nothing but a pair of glittery, blue leotards, or hes hanging from the rafters, faking his own death. And every now and then he might bring out Susan Sarandon, dressed as a dominatrix.

We had this harness rigged up for the last tour, Barnes said. I was definitely a little nervous, but if I fell from it I wouldnt dieprobably just break my leg or something.

The theatrics of the tour that accompany Of Montreals latest album, False Priest, are slightly different from those of the previous tours. For starters, Janelle Mon獺e and Solange Knowles, Beyonc矇s sister, are guest stars on both the album and within the tour.

I knew them both before, and Im a fan of theirs, Barnes said. I knew theyd do a good job on the album, and they did.

Janelle Mon獺e will accompany Of Montreal on select dates, with Solange also making a few surprise appearances along the way.

The False Priest tour will also include performance art before each show starts, and select shows will see Janelle Mon獺e and Of Montreal playing together as the opening act. The whole night should feel like an event with multiple performances, instead of just waiting for the main act at the end of the night.

The album itself is still much of the indie pop sound that Barnes has been toying with for years, but it also incorporates a 1970s disco feel, as well as some R&B notes.

I feel like I wasnt paying attention to my contemporaries for the past 10 years, Barnes said. Ive just been all about the 70s soul.

Unwilling to continue being left out of the musical loop, Barnes started doing some research.

I just started looking up the best 50 albums of the year, Barnes said. Ive been listening to Twin Shadow, and Caribous new album, which is really good.

Now that Barnes is up to date, what will he do nextrelease an instrumental album? Maybe a holiday album for next year?

I hope not, Barnes said. I remember when Bob Dylans Christmas album came out and a lot of people were weirded out by it.

That might be because Bob Dylans voice has started to sound like a stomach growling.

It must have just been one of those things he had never done so he wanted to cross it off his list, Barnes said. Its kind of hard to screw up traditional Christmas songs though. Unless maybe it was a metal Christmasactually, not even that could do it.

Of Montreal will be playing in Mobile on Jan. 11, and even though its not Pensacola, its just a quick car ride away.

Weve actually played in Pensacola before, about 10 years ago, Barnes said. We were having a hard time getting places to let us play and Sluggos booked a show with us.

Although the show wasnt exactly packed, it did provide a small amount of much-needed support.

I think there were about five people there, Barnes said. But it was really nice of Sluggos to let us play and to offer us that support.

Maybe Of Montreals next tour will include a Pensacola reunion. Tickets for the Mobile show are available now online.

WHAT: Of Montreal, featuring Kid Sister
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11
WHERE: The Soul Kitchen, 219 Dauphin St., Mobile, Ala.
COST: $20 plus service fees in advance, $25 day of show