Against all odds, Of Montreal have become something of a legacy band in the indie-rock world. Yes, they’re known for their outlandish onstage antics–horseback riding, costumes, theatrical skits–but they’re a pretty stable outfit. Formed in Athens, Georgia in 1996, Of Montreal has released eleven albums, each one varying pretty wildly from the one that preceded it. Lead singer Kevin Barnes grew out of the famed Elephant 6 collective, sharing bands and ideas with future members of Neutral Milk Hotel and the Apples In Stereo. The collective’s anything-goes mentality fit right with Barnes: over the last fifteen years, Of Montreal has flirted with psychedelia, pop, rock, funk, soul, and disco.
This constant evolution is rare for a band, but luckily for fans, Of Montreal have set about to capture it. Last winter, the group launched a Kickstarter to help fund Song Dynasties, a feature-length documentary on the band. Over the course of five years, Barnes had a film crew capture hundreds of the band’s legendary live shows, and they’re planning on releasing the film with a collection of the earliest Of Montreal recordings. Barnes has also let slip that the group’s twelfth album is on the horizon, coming just a year after 2012’s Paralytic Stalks. No disco-funk-psych hybrid this time, though: the singer claims he was influenced by Neil Young, the Grateful Dead, and the Flying Burrito Brothers.
It’s certainly never a dull moment in the Of Montreal universe. With all this archival activity, we’re dipping into our vaults for today’s song of the day. Back in 2007, the band stopped by Studio 1A in the midst of their disco days and surprised us all with a tender acoustic cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.” It’s hard to know where Of Montreal are headed next, but that’s the fun part.
You can catch Of Montreal tonight at the Mohawk starting at 8pm.