07 December 2007

Of Montreal - 'The Past Is A Grotesque Animal'

Every so often – oh okay, on average about three or four times a week – it happens that a song leaps out from among its siblings on some playlist or LP sequence and demands immediate, overwhelming and recurring special attention, to the neglect of others. Thursday's and Friday's greatest song ever - doubtless to be supplanted ere Monday - comes from American art-poppers Of Montreal, about whom I have recently shifted ground, moving from a position of vague suspicion to one of simple love.

A special place in my heart is reserved for songs like these that quickly gather a head of steam and then just keep on going. This one crushes anything in its path and refuses to pause for breath. It's merciless. It just keeps on rolling, and it builds and builds. Somewhere else I saw it described as an ideal treadmill song, a description I envy, although at an epic near twelve minutes, I think the inevitable heart attack would have claimed me by the end, which would be at once a shame but at the same time not a bad way to take my leave.

Alongside its mighty momentum, in its words this song is also clearly about me and my life, as songs occasionally are. We all think that, don't we? We have all secretly entertained fantasies that the world is constructed around us and we are the reason for its existence and there will be no world after we die, right? Right. I wouldn't be so crass as to blurt the lyrical pearls of others all over these pages (although currently 'at least I offer my own disaster' seems to me a suitable epitaph for either my gravestone or Facebook page), because you need to do the work and have the pleasure of finding these things out for yourselves, but there seems to be enough in here to base a whole philosophy, or at least a religion on. I am left utterly skewered and trying to reconstruct what was my life.

And then ridiculously last night I went to see Of Montreal at ULU and they opened with this, and although it wasn't a great gig because it was at ULU with its uniquely muddy sound, there was something about it that was right and proper and felt like fate.

This is on this year's LP, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? which looks lovely on vinyl and where all the good songs come towards the end.

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