Of Montreal

Of Montreal, of course, isn't of Montreal at all. This will probably be a good thing once the Arcade Fire-driven Montreal mania reaches its zenith and the backlash begins. For now, the band seems quite comfy in its Athens, Georgia, home. The brainchild of loose Elephant 6 affiliate Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal takes the dreamy trail the Talking Heads would have meandered had David Byrne mind-melded with the Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee" instead of Afrobeat polyrhythms. Like XTC and Brian Wilson before him, Barnes understands the ominousness of dark lyrics delivered lightly, optimistically--especially when circus hurdy-gurdies, vaudeville motifs and happy little synth bloops (on The Sunlandic Twins, Of Montreal's latest CD) fill the empty spaces in the background.