of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping

NME.COM feature on of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Release date: 21 October 2008

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of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping: Wikipedia Album Entry

Skeletal Lamping is the title of the ninth studio album by Athens, Georgia-based band of Montreal. Kevin Barnes said about the title: "This record is my attempt to bring all of my puzzling, contradicting, disturbing, humorous...fantasies, ruminations and observations to the surface, so that I can better dissect and understand their reason for being in my head. Hence the title, Skeletal Lamping. Lamping is the name of a rather dreadful hunting technique where hunters go into the forest at night, flood an area in light, then shoot or capture the animals as they panic and run from their hiding places."

In an interview with Wireless Bollinger in 2007, Kevin Barnes described his concept for the follow-up to Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? as an album composed of hundreds of consecutive short segments ranging from thirty to fifty seconds in length, with the intention that it "feel like one long piece with hundreds of movements."

In a recent interview with Pitchfork Media, Barnes stated that of Montreal will continue to evolve with Skeletal Lamping:

"Musically, it is sort of all over the place, too. There really isn't necessarily a sense of continuity there. It's definitely funkier. It's maybe developing off of things like "Faberge Falls for Shuggie" and "Labyrinthian Pomp" from Hissing Fauna. It's kind of moving things in those directions. It's something that I find exciting, as it's not something that I've really worked with a lot in the past. It still holds some mystery for me. I really feel there is something I can use in that genre. It's fun for me too because it kind of [...] goes against the kind and gentle side of indie rock. Funk music is not like that at all."

Skeletal Lamping was released on October 21, 2008. The album was released in different formats, including conventional CD and vinyl, as well as t-shirts, a button set, wall decals, and a paper lantern, the latter formats included a digital download code for the album itself.

All items for the collection were designed by The Bee With Wheels (David Barnes) and Gemini Tactics (Nina Barnes), a coalition termed the 'Apollinaire Rave Colective'. In an essay addressing the concept behind the album's release, Kevin Barnes stated "We feel that there’s no reason to produce another object that just sits on a shelf. We only want to produce objects that have a function and that can be treasured for their singularness."

The concept was explained directly on the album's packaging,

"The goal of the Skeletal Lamping Collection is to expand the perception of music packaging beyond traditional flat, square artwork. The album exists in seven different packaging formats: CD, LP, T-shirt, tote bag, button set, paper lantern, and wall decals. Each Item in the Skeletal Lamping Collection includes both the digital album and its unique packaging of the album art. Ideally, every object you bring into your home should feel exceptional to you, otherwise, it just adds to the clutter and chaos of your life. We feel, theres no reason to produce another object that just sits on a shelf. We only want to produce objects that have functionality and can be treasured for their singularity. Objects that can transform a room, bend the mind and inform your dreams."

Georgie Fruit is the name of Kevin Barnes' African-American cross-dressing stage persona, similar in many ways to David Bowie's alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Georgie Fruit was first mentioned on Of Montreal's 2007 album Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? during the song "Labyrinthian Pomp".

In several interviews, Barnes has described the role of Georgie Fruit on Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?:

"Barnes himself has described the album as a concept album, 'detailing his transformation from Kevin Barnes into Georgie Fruit.'
...
'The transformation takes place during "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal,' the 15-minute long 'turning point' of the album."

Georgie Fruit plays a prominent role on Skeletal Lamping. In the same interview with Pitchfork Media, Barnes elaborated on the Georgie Fruit's background and character:

"The character's name is Georgie Fruit, and he's in his late forties, a black man who has been through multiple sex changes. He's been a man and a woman, and then back to a man. He's been to prison a couple of times. In the 70s he was in a band called Arousal, a funk rock band sort of like the Ohio Players. Then he went through a few different phases."

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