Being single sucks, even if you’re a walking sex-funk god like Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes. And on “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia,” Barnes writes what might just be his version of “Mr. Brightside,” a paranoid lover’s psychotic delusion wrapped in synth beats and icy chants. The highest points of Barnes career, like 2007’s “The Past Is a Grotesque Animal,” have been very long prog jams capable of containing the shimmering depths of his imagination like a caldron’s motley potion so, it’s almost relieving that the first tease of White is Relic/Irrealis Mood (out in March on Polyvinyl) is seven minutes long and already proclaims to contain two jams for the price of one.
After Barnes wakes up from this sleepless night of panged, paranoid desire (“Nobody’s sleeping, nobody’s off the beat”), “Body Dysmorphia” feels more like a morning gnomic chant – a brief and haunting appropriation of misery. It’s not as, uh, fun as “it’s different for girls” but his heart is still there, the ghost of yesterday’s desire. It’s also far more self-consciously insular music, panging in and not panging out. This also marks a return to the Barnes of 2007, gothic fairytales wrapped in blankets of sound, stitched by a single hand. He claims to be influenced by listening to a lot of “extended dance mixes,” the kinds of things they used to pack on CD singles when that was something people would by, and that’s really something you only do on your lonesome.
of Montreal’s forthcoming album, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, is out March 9th on Polyvinyl.