of Montreal // Aureate Gloom
by Maggie Danna on March 30, 2015
Posted in: Album Review, Eclectic, Music, Pop, Rock
Aureate Gloom is of Montreal’s thirteenth LP, and lead singer/band leader Kevin Barnes continues to be a musical genius. Though he has changed the band’s line up once again, the infectious melodies, esoteric references (get your dictionary), and vocal harmonies we’ve come to expect from of Montreal are all still here. Aureate means golden and gloom is self-explanatory, so this album is essentially golden sorrow. Of their previous albums, I would say Aureate Gloom is sonically most similar to Paralytic Stalks, and the themes are rather reminiscent of Hissing Fauna: Are You the Destroyer?, as Kevin explores his (now-ended) relationship with his wife Nina once more.
In Aureate Gloom, of Montreal infuse their dancey psychedelia with a tinge of garage punk. The musical styles are all over the place but mesh perfectly. The album gets off to a strong and vivacious start with “Bassem Sabry”, a deliciously funky tune with a disco rhythm, soaring strings, and even a touch of Bolan-esque vibrato. of Montreal typically pairs an upbeat, euphoric melody with darker lyrics, but this album has a definitively more melancholy vibe throughout. “This summer’s been nothing but rain/Nature is writing in her own filth again” Kevin laments in “Estocadas”, which is beautifully sad and, in referencing the finale of a bull fight, makes me slightly anxious about my possible future experiences studying abroad in Spain next year. The album ends with “Like Ashoka’s Inferno of Memory,” a transition-filled conglomeration of sounds morphing from heavy garage in the beginning to a peppy rock closure. Though not of Montreal’s best (but honestly, how could they beat Skeletal Lamping, Hissing Fauna, and False Priest!?), Aureate Gloom is an extremely solid album.
Best Tracks: 1, 8, 5, 10, 2
RIYL: any Elephant 6 bands, Islands, Foxygen