Defining of Montreal is impossible. There are too many perspectives to consider, angles to explore,
layers to uncover. Just when you think you have a concept of what kind of creature they are, they
transform into something unexpected and new.
As a result, each album holds the opportunity for re-discovery, re-immersion, re-appreciation.
On Lousy with Sylvianbriar, this paradigm holds true once more. The record was created with a new
songwriting approach, a different recording method, and a fresh group of musicians.
Seeking creative inspiration, Kevin Barnes re-located to San Francisco where he spent days soaking in
the strange surroundings and channeling the city’s energy into his writing. After a very prolific period
there, he returned to Athens, GA, and assembled the cast of musicians to begin the sessions.
Barnes eschewed computer recording -- with its pitch correction, limitless effects plug-ins and editing
possibilities -- and instead, with the help of engineer Drew Vandenberg (Deerhunter, Toro y Moi), he
recorded Lousy with Sylvianbriarin his home studio on a 24-track tape machine.
With no computer tricks to fall back on, the band -- Kevin Barnes (guitars,bass,vocals), Rebecca Cash
(vocals), Clayton Rychlik (drums,vocals), Jojo Glidewell (keys), Bob Parins (pedal steel,bass), and
Bennet Lewis (guitars,mandolin) -- could only get out of the recordings what they put into them. Most
of the tracking was recorded live with the band in the same room together. They worked quickly, with
the band members composing their parts on the fly and with little second guessing. The album was
recorded in just three weeks.
“I knew I wanted the process to be more in line with the way people used to make albums in the late
60s and early 70s,” reveals Barnes. “I wanted to work fast and to maintain a high level of spontaneity
and immediacy. I wanted the songs to be more lyric-driven, and for the instrumental arrangements to
be understated and uncluttered.”
Opening track and lead single “Fugitive Air” feels like a Stones-y anthem, with sparks of Philip K.
Dick’s psychedelic prose, Ralph Bakshi’s cartoon violence, and William S. Burroughs’ hyper-paranoia.
“Belle Glade Missionaries” finds Barnes lyrically at his most political, backed by a soundtrack that is
pure Dylan circa Highway 61 Revisited.
Female vocalist Rebecca Cash makes several appearances on the album, taking the lead on the plaintive
“Raindrop in My Skull,” where her and Barnes share a Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris-inspired duet.
“She Ain’t Speakin’ Now” ranks among of Montreal’s all-time great songs, transforming its brooding
acoustic guitar intro into a visceral angst-ridden rocker that sounds like the best moments of Neil
Young & Crazy Horse.
The album’s closer, “Imbecile Rages,” a caustic and doleful epitaph for a crumbling relationship, is one
of Barnes’ most raw and personal statements.
Like the classic albums that inspired it, this is an album to be explored, to be lived with, to be listened
to in happiness and in darkness, to be dissolved into. To be played very loudly at parties and with eyes
closed, in headphones, alone. It should become dog-eared and dirty with use and it should lessen the
blow of our enemies, in all their forms.

Dark Rooms is the new project by Daniel Hart.

$16 In Advance | $18 Day of Show

Tickets Available at the Door

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of Montreal with Dark Rooms

Thursday, November 14 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM at Trees

Tickets Available at the Door