Of Montreal album still dark but 'super poppy'

Indie band's 'Skeletal Lamping' is due in October

NEW YORK -- Divorce and mental illness are not often hallmarks of danceable indie rock records, but they played a big part on Of Montreal's critically acclaimed 2007 release, "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?"

On "Skeletal Lamping," due Oct. 7 via Polyvinyl, "I've tried to incorporate more tension and dissonance, while still maintaining a super poppy sound," group leader Kevin Barnes tells Billboard. "I think the album is more bipolar than schizophrenic, though. I guess it represents its author more closely in that way."

Barnes said "Beware Our Nubile Miscreants" is "the most wicked thing I've ever written," while opener "Nonpareil of Favor" "definitely goes somewhere musically that is totally unlike anything I've ever done before."

For Barnes, delving into deeply personal topics has become something of a therapeutic outlet. "I start to feel unbalanced if too much time passes without me being able to record," he said. "I need to shut out the world and disappear into the void. In a way it is like meditation. It definitely gives me a sense of value too. Even if other people hate what I create, as long as I like it, I'm fine. The new record doesn't deal with as many romantic or psychological issues. It is a very personal record still. It is more sexual and frisky than 'Hissing.' "

In a recent MySpace posting, Barnes expressed worry that "some people are going to misunderstand" the new album, but he now says he was more concerned about "the sort of 'recreational' Of Montreal fan. I've decided that I'm not going to even bother with them. Some of the lyrical content on 'Skeletal Lamping' might be considered a bit lewd, insulting or creepy by an easily offended listener. This record is only for broad-minded people, who like to dance, make love and freak the f*** out. It's not for most inanimate objects."

Barnes is now preparing to unveil the new material in a live setting. An international tour is on tap for around when "Skeletal Lamping" hits stores, after which, "We'll take a little break over the holidays and then do it again. We're going to be attempting some new theatrical things this time and we're adding another musician to the live band. I'm looking forward to the madness."