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Of Montreal Has Got Their Formula Down Pat

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Experimental pop band Of Montreal has been around since 1996, and I feel like from the start, frontman Kevin Barnes knew exactly what he wanted to do with it.

Just look at the names of their first two records — Cherry Peel and The Bird Who Ate the Rabbit’s Flower — and that will tell you everything you need to know about the multi-decade quintet. They’re playful and sunny, folkish with a bit of a rebellious, non-archetypal attitude. They’re dreamy, but not oblivious to reality. They’re cute, but they’ll also know how to rock the fuck out.

Over the course of 22 records, the band has applied numerous (and generally temporary) styles — like Americana, disco, glam, New Wave, classic rock, prog rock, and dance — to their pop tunes, tying them all together with their staple instrument: guitar. Their 2016 album, Innocence Reaches, marked an electronic dance phase for Of Montreal, but with Rune Husk, an EP released in January, the band appears to have switched things up again. Rune Husk combines the groovy, swirliness of psychedelic rock with the peppy levity of ’60s pop, and, like a rainbow Popsicle on a hot day, the five-track record is over before you know it.

Of Montreal
At 8 p.m., Thursday, April 13, at the Independent. $25; theindependentsf.com

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Jessie Schiewe @j_schiewe

Jessie Schiewe was the Music Editor for SF Weekly from Fall 2015 to Summer 2017. She is now the editor and publisher of OK Whatever (www.okwhatever.org), an online publication dedicated to all things weird and strange. You can send her mail at jessie@okwhatever.org.

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