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Reverb Fest 5: OF MONTREAL + JMSN
Apr 29 , 2017 • Neighborhood Theatre
Pricing:$18.65 in advance - $3 Under 21 Surcharge at Door - Valid ID Required for entry (under 18 permitted with parent)
Innocence Reaches begins with a query. "How do you identify?" coos a robotic voice over a strikingly modern mix of bright synthpop and surging rave. The question too feels very of its time-as outdated ideas about gender and attraction are being overturned-but it's also a fair ask whenever of Montreal debuts an album.
The project's 14th LP follows two full decades of mercurial creative mania: swallowing up '60s psych-pop, Prince-ly funk, and glammy prog in turn; morphing freely between full-band affair and cloistered confessional booth; comprising lyrics both painfully personal and absurdly fantastical; and recently drawing site-specific inspiration from culture capitals like San Francisco or New York City. The thread that runs through it all is Athens, GA's Kevin Barnes, and Innocence Reaches finds him at his most light-hearted in years, working a Parisian stint, Top 40 sounds, and his newfound single status into the kaleidoscopic swirl. Even as he continues to sift the sonic and emotional detritus of his past, Barnes sums up his current mood in the opener's title: "let's relate."
The most immediate surprise is the sound. Innocence Reaches is touched by contemporary electronica, indie pop, and EDM. For the first time in his career, Barnes tuned into now. "Forever I've been detached from current music," he says. "I got into this bubble of only being in some other time period. I came up picking apart the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and symphonic pieces. But last year, I was hearing Jack U, Chairlift, Arca, and others, thinking about low end and sound collage. It was an extra layer to geek out on."
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