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Innocence Reaches

by of Montreal

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1.
let's relate 03:53
how do you identify? how do you i.d.? are you something fashion wild? talk to me talk talk talk to me i want to objectify, i want to object are you something fashion free? talk to me talk talk talk to me amalgam, i think that you're great, let's relate i already like you i like that you like you i think that you're great i want to relate i want to be modified, i want to diverge, are you something aliquot? talk to me talk talk talk to me how do you identify? how do you i.d.? are you something fashion wild? talk to me talk talk talk to me amalgam, i think that you're great, let's relate i already like you i like that you like you i think that you're great i want to let's relate readings of scorpion collage in my Ménilmontant atelier summer sobbing in the Père Lachaise sending clicking sounds into the void till i was clear of all reflexive anger and the dodgy 'hate you' song it felt chill to be a failure though i've been a deprivation too long let's relate
2.
"it's different for girls they've got sensitive language they've built miles of defenses they're not numbed by oppression it's different for girls from when they are children they're depersonalized aggressively objectified they want to make a scene they want to be adored and then they want to be left alone when they get bored with that it's different for girls they are mercurial creatures not a masculine dissonance or sexual currency" though some women are demons all of them are gods though some demons are women for every one psycho bitch there's ten thousand agro pricks it's different for girls "it's different for girls they don't spit on the street they don't piss on the seat they don't have to size up every person they meet or create an elite or poison the game so no one else can compete they like chaos and mystery and they like to combine them sometimes they act crazy but that doesn't define them it's different for girls they're not expected to fight they're expected to sit and take some lesser man's shit though it don't feel right" though some women are demons all of them are god though some demons are women for every one psycho chick there's ten thousand hateful pricks it's different for girls
3.
am i on the verge of a really big breakthrough or just another meltdown? gratuitous abysses i've been looking for my friend she became an ocean just to watch me drown gratuitous abysses staying in touch is making us boring, voiceless is underrated, i think it's dumb and i really hate it i must vilify us to make you special, i know my compass is beyond retrieval, i'm just 'illuminations' and 'flowers of evil' like a flittering squirming dying insect you got glued to your ceiling gratuitous abysses i know i'm as rotten as a Chytilovián Daisy but i still got feelings gratuitous abysses staying connected is making us stupid i want a new grid a swinish fury but since our schism it's all so blurry we're all dolled up for gratuitous abysses you're on her perch and looking sallow i want to kiss you but you know i'm so shallow staying in touch is making us boring, voiceless is underrated, i think it's dumb and i really hate it i must vilify us to make you special, i know my compass is beyond retrieval, i'm just 'illuminations' and 'flowers of evil'
4.
my fair lady 04:25
my lady's back at home cutting herself and sending me photographs she was a friend to me she was a friend back at home dismantling our love at the request of other people back at home dismantling our love killing it to please other people she was a friend to me she was a friend because you've been so damaged i have to give all the love that was meant for you to somebody else because you've been so abused i have to give all the love that was meant for you to some other girl she courts calamities i'm embarrassed to admit it's traumatized me i'm ashamed to admit your mind has traumatized me you were a friend you were a friend you were a friend to me oh won't you come around? won't you change? not for me but for you for yourself oh can't you can't you change?
5.
should i watch some Fassbinder to grow more connected to you? you know i never believed in us we're just too degraded to be true degraded, look at you,degraded, what can i do? oh we only act nicely when we're ruining hotel beds i greeted you in a hundred doorways,Maldoror chanting in your head cause you're so degraded look at you, degraded, what can i do? did something shocking happen when you were just a kid? i wonder if you'll ever see yourself, it probably wouldn't matter if you did cause you're so degraded,look at you, degraded, what can i do? our love was a purity until mundanity struck i guess that last time in Capitol Hill will be our farewell fuck cause you're so degraded,look at you, degraded, what can i do? cookie...
6.
i wanna belong to you i wanna be yours i don't wanna be mine anymore i wanna be yours i wanna lose my ego i wanna be possessed by you i don't care about my freedom i just want to be yours yours only yours i was twitching while you painted your eyes feeling all lit up inside like the torches on Saint John's Eve and i wanted to be wealth to you cause you're above you're above you're above you are above my love above you're the only bitty that i ever cream of i wanna belong to you i wanna be yours i don't wanna live in fantasies i wanna be yours i want to lose my identity i want to become one with you i don't care about myself anymore i just want to be yours yours only yours
7.
when Sarah comes down when Sarah comes down when Sarah comes down from Detroit i'll exhume myself and meet her till the day she's here i'll stay underground i don't have to feel evil any more and i'm happier when she's around when Sarah comes down when Sarah comes down when Sarah comes down from Detroit i'll exhume myself and meet her till the day she comes i'll stay underground i don't have to feel guilty any more and i'm something better when she's around Sarah come down Sarah come down Sarah come down from Detroit
8.
def pacts 05:02
of course this world would be better without you this is try for most everyone or at least people like us but you can't really martyr yourself when no one gives a fuck stop acting like a victim stop conceding defeat it's so tedious to watch someone you care for keep failing themselves you've been dead twice before but it didn't really change you someone's always there to save you and then help you clean up the mess, you're a mess i like how you're ugly, do i like you too much to really tell you what you're most needing to hear? christ your such a sadness won't you be good to me? won't you be fair? won't you be sweet, won't you always be there? won't you always be there? i think you're just looking for a reason to go off the rails, start another bender, to wound yourself, though it's never critical you called me two weeks later to get some sort of closure so you wouldn't have to feel like such a pig but i think you should feel that way because you are one, maybe we both are i know that someone else's pain is never interesting yeah other people's suffering is so boring but i hope you realize that i could never hate you look to survive in this world you don't have to become a parasite you don't have to be so mercenary so cruel i'm only just now learning this myself
9.
Mountain City yellows they're not on the grounds they're in the wall this loneliness is so distracting i'm barely missing you at all will i survive the Easter in this sloughy womb of noxious isolation? no i can feel the sabers now in my illusionary casket now your charming little virus is getting all your attention as i drag my chair up to the window to absorb some solar lashings it's your saint's name day tomorrow but last year's paper wasps they are not living anymore why should i be scorned like some catalyst for famines when it's me who's been exiled in apartments? oh must i always be chaos arpeggiating? Mountain City yellows i see them glitching through the floor the minotaur of self abuse can't pick himself up anymore your last violent freak out was a eulogy to us i was truly touched that you still cared enough to throw psychotic fits and now i'm sparring with the no one, the void, the vacuum of conscience as i mine the rust of my celebrity with snarls and mock laughter i have the sense that you're wanting me to chase you but what's the point? we can't be together without starting a row
10.
i know what it says about me, that i hate myself less for what i did to you and more for what has become of us naturally i'm anxious and unstable knowing i'm lost to my best friend though i see you almost every day in my cracked kingdom in my terror hive of brutal nostalgia on some self imposed house arrest of the mind that's useless trying to numb the fear, the fear, that deforms the negatives and makes all memories pathetic, so pathetic i have no charm to win you back, the anthers drained, the feria is over of what sweetness still remains, i can't trust myself oh the complex codes, the polymorphic addled führer of our arrangement i'm lost to my best friend though i see you almost every day
11.
trashed exes 04:15
the problem is a different girl, an Athenian beach-goth we have so much to live for but living is not one of your talents you you were just slumming it with me, you faked it, i was your slum now i can't even talk to you, easy rider see whatcha done done Gabrielle, i met the plague of you, l'appel du vide of your trashed exes i felt like Antonin Artaud because i refused to cry i saw our withering and thought "how romantic" i saw our withering and thought "i'm glad" did you really try to love me? that doesn't sound like you no not you now that i am dispossessed i feel almost happy happy that i no longer have to be the prey of your syndrome i do miss the corybantic wilds of our furious and awful love i was ready to share everything oh honey what was i thinking of? Gabrielle, i met the plague of you, i met the plague i felt like Antonin Artaud because i refused to cry i saw our withering and thought "nothing tragic" i saw our withering and thought "good, i'm glad" did i really try to love you? Gabrielle, i met the plague of you, l'appel du vide of your trashed exes i felt like Antonin Artaud because i refused to cry i saw our withering and thought "how romantic" i saw our withering and thought "i'm glad" did you really try to love me? that doesn't sound like you no not you
12.
chap pilot 06:16
getting trolled by inanimate klaxons they'll leave me alone though t.v. is faster the children are shown the incest husk, no one wants you to remove the mask, what's the point? dowager jinx of rat-father no other grey stranger stinking under her burka bleeding captions like a Noël Coward crowd fumed with thunderous step mother said it's not sad, this is fun starved myself for a polygraph, failed so badly we both fell to laughing and you know it it's not bad it's not sad it's fun i guess we can surprise ourselves when we stop acting way too tough i guess we can surprise ourselves when we stop acting way too tough i guess we can still surprise ourselves when we stop acting so tough

about

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 Ü, Chairlift, Arca, and others, thinking about low end and sound collage. It was an extra layer to geek out on."

Paris helped with that. Barnes lived in a friend's studio for two weeks. It was in an apartment complex and, as he prefers to work at night, he couldn't thrash loud instruments for fear of noise complaints from the neighbors. But the in-house arsenal of vintage synthesizers and drum machines was fair game—check the skittering beats of "a sport and a pastime" and thick hum of "chap pilot."

By day, Barnes wandered Père Lachaise Cemetery, sat at cafés and wrote poems, read Jeans Ganet and Cocteau, or eavesdropped on conversations he couldn't translate. "Being in that place where no one looks at me twice and I can't even understand the language was like entering a parallel universe," recalls Barnes. "It was cathartic and inspiring to amputate myself from my normal life and feel like an individual outside of all the baggage and memories."

Enjoying anonymity, he sorted through the inner wreckage left by his divorce two years prior, and took stock of the briefer relationships since. "my fair lady" bids adieu to a familiar figure over sax-streaked disco-funk, but we soon meet Sarah from Detroit on darkwave dream "ambassador bridge," and Gabrielle the Athenian Beach Goth amid the trappy space-glitch of "trashed Exes." In "les chants de maldoror," our hero cooly declares, "We only act nicely when we're ruining hotel beds/I greeted you in a hundred doorways." Innocence Reaches continues of Montreal's recent autobiographical streak, which finds Barnes "fetishizing reality," as he puts it.

But he's concerned with a broader reality as well. "it's different for girls" is an exploration of the "dilemme féminin". Combining Daft Punk's aptitude for groove with LCD Soundsystem's wit—an endlessly quotable track that has Barnes outlining the dangers inherent in binary gendering: "It's different for girls,from when they are children they're de-personalized, aggressively objectified..." and later Barnes sings "It's different for girls, they are mercurial creatures, not a masculine dissonance or sexual currency". The song is less feminine anthem and more pop exegesis of societal codes. "though some women are demons all of them are God". Indeed.

Apropos, Innocence Reaches' cover design was an attempt by a new first-time father—Kevin's brother David—to express his "wonderment for the female anatomy." And the aforementioned "let's relate" was indeed inspired by trans issues, a subject dear to Barnes' heart. "I have a history of gender-bending in performances, but that's also always been a part of my identity as a human," he says. "I'm thankful to have an outlet for that, to express that and not get chased out of town or beat up. I think we're moving in the right direction now." The song is a call to find common ground in simply being human: "I like that you like you/I think that you're great/I want to relate," he sings cheerily.

Innocence Reaches features darker moments to be sure—isolation, anger, indifference, and the feeling that, like a Truffaut film, madness lurks just outside the frame—but as Barnes explains, "Epiphany comes from breakdown. If you can stay open and vulnerable, the nebulous becomes transparent. That's one of the magical aspects of writing from personal life."

Sometimes you've gotta intentionally court a little chaos in order to make one of the best, weirdest, brightest, catchiest, and most inventive albums in your already incredible catalog.

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released August 12, 2016

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