Psych Of Montreal
Sponsored by 89.3 The Current
Defining of Montreal is impossible. There are too many perspectives to consider, angles to explore, layers to uncover. Just when you think you have a concept of what kind of creature they are, they transform into something unexpected and new. As a result, each album holds the opportunity for re-discovery, re-immersion, re-appreciation. On Lousy with Sylvianbriar, this paradigm holds true once more. The record was created with a new songwriting approach, a different recording method, and a fresh group of musicians. Seeking creative inspiration, Kevin Barnes re-located to San Francisco where he spent days soaking in the strange surroundings and channeling the city’s energy into his writing. After a very prolific period there, he returned to Athens, GA, and assembled the cast of musicians to begin the sessions.
Barnes eschewed computer recording -- with its pitch correction, limitless effects plug-ins and editing possibilities -- and instead, with the help of engineer Drew Vandenberg (Deerhunter, Toro y Moi), he recorded Lousy with Sylvianbriar in his home studio on a 24-track tape machine. With no computer tricks to fall back on, the band -- Kevin Barnes (guitars, bass, vocals), Rebecca Cash (vocals), Clayton Rychlik (drums, vocals), Jojo Glidewell (keys), Bob Parins (pedal steel, bass), and Bennet Lewis (guitars, mandolin) -- could only get out of the recordings what they put into them.
Most of the tracking was recorded live with the band in the same room together. They worked quickly, with the band members composing their parts on the fly and with little second guessing. The album was recorded in just three weeks. “I knew I wanted the process to be more in line with the way people used to make albums in the late 60s and early 70s,” reveals Barnes. “I wanted to work fast and to maintain a high level of spontaneity and immediacy. I wanted the songs to be more lyric-driven, and for the instrumental arrangements to be understated and uncluttered.” Like the classic albums that inspired it, this is an album to be explored, to be lived with, to be listened to in happiness and in darkness, to be dissolved into. To be played very loudly at parties and with eyes closed, in headphones, alone. It should become dog-eared and dirty with use and it should lessen the blow of our enemies, in all their forms.