It’s Different for Barnes

EW talks with the frontman of Athens band of Montreal

I ask Kevin Barnes from of Montreal whether early Bowie stuff or bands like T Rex were on his mind when writing and recording Innocence Reaches, the latest full-length from his long-running indie-rock act out of Athens, Georgia.

“There are a couple songs that are definitely Iggy Pop-influenced,” Barnes says, “and Bowie as well,” particularly with the Mick Ronson-like guitar sounds on album-tracks like “Les Chants de Maldoror” and “Gratuitous Abysses.”

But when it comes to appropriately androgynous and insanely catchy Innocence tracks like “It’s Different for Girls,” the focus is less on guitars and squarely on dancing.

Always prolific, Barnes released Rune Husk back in January of this year, a companion EP to Innocence Reaches. Barnes says the EP consists of “basically songs that didn’t make the last record.” And Rune Husk is out on Barnes’ own record label, Sybaritic Peer. He thought the EP would be good as his new label’s “maiden voyage.”

Compared to Innocence Reaches, the EP is darker and even a little spacier, though Rune Husk is just as all-over-the-place as anything Barnes has ever done. The last song on the EP, “Island Life,” delves deep into Barnes’ psychedelic side. “There are four songs on it, and they’re all pretty different,” Barnes says. “I just wanted to put it out there for people who follow us and appreciate us.”

Of Montreal performs with Christina Schneider’s Jepeto Solutions 8 pm Friday, April 14, at Hi Fi Music Hall; $16 advance, $20 door. All-ages. — Will Kennedy