Of Montreal is set to release Innocence Reaches, its follow up to 2015’s Aureate Gloom next Friday, August 12th. In many ways, the record finds Kevin Barnes at his most upbeat in years, which considering of Montreal’s discography is something of a feat. Much of that upbeat sound comes from new, contemporary influences. He explained, “Forever I’ve been detached from current music. I got into this bubble of only being in some other time period. I came up picking apart the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and symphonic pieces. But last year, I was hearing Jack Ü, Chairlift, Arca, and others, thinking about low-end and sound collage. It was an extra layer to geek out on.”
That influence and Barnes’ mood come through from Innocence Reaches‘ opening track, “Let’s Relate.” The song bursts forth with a bouncing synth line, and its chorus exudes positivity, “I already like you / I like that you like you / I think that you’re great / I want to relate.” “Let’s Relate” is not all frivolity, however. You would not know it from the music alone, but the final verse turns more serious with a mention of “sobbing in the Père Lachaise…till i was clear of all reflexive anger and the dodgy ‘hate you’ song.”
Second single “My Fair Lady” expands on the experience brought up toward the end of “Let’s Relate.” With its funky sound and personal lyrics, “My Fair Lady” is reminiscent of 2007’s Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? Though not nearly as heavy as its predecessor Innocence Reaches explores similar emotional territory. “My Fair Lady” addresses Barnes’ divorce from his wife, and tracks that follow speak about a tumultuous relations (“Les Chants de Maldoror”) and new lovers (“Ambassador Bridge” and “Trashed Exes”).
Of Montreal’s Innocence Reaches comes out Friday August 12, 2016 through Polyvinyl, and is available for preorder on Amazon, iTunes, and Polyvinyl. The album is currently available to stream on NPR First Listen.