August 12th – Polyvinyl
Innocence Reaches bursts into life on the back of bouncy synths and Kevin Barnes’ robotically engineered voice. It’s a strong start for the 14th (count ‘em!) album by Athens, Georgia’s finest exponents of psychedelic freak-out pop.
A new of Montreal album can always be regarded as a treat, just don’t expect more of the same. Innocence Reaches is a different of Montreal– Kevin Barnes’ constant innovation on his band’s sound makes sure of that.
‘it’s different for girls’ presses forward in the same vein as opener ‘let’s relate’– dance oriented and upbeat with a slinky guitar line straight out of CSS’s playbook. While sometimes of Montreal’s lyrics are wonderfully opaque and impenetrable, ‘it’s different for girls’ uses some pretty plain language to explain some societal home truths.
And so it continues: this is an album sprawling with ideas and variety – music that makes you think a thousand thoughts a second because it’s so creatively dense. The weight of creative insight is envy-inducing. Veering from Bowie at his most glam on ‘gratuitous abysses’ to swirling psychedelia on ‘les chants de maldoror’, the music evokes The Flaming Lips and elements of St. Vincent.
The laid back groove of ‘ambassador bridge’ and ‘def pacts’ are contemplative counterpoints to the joyful thrill of the punchier numbers. ‘chaos arpeggiating’ is as apt a song title as ever for an of Montreal track, gentle and grandiose in equal measure.
In closing, the gentle haha-ing of ‘chap pilot’ eases you down from the highs of a magic carpet ride and you wonder exactly what dimension you’ve spent the last hour in. It’s the kind of album where you dive right back in because you need to know.