Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Following the release of the Inbreds’ brilliant Winning Hearts there was a review of the work in which the writer waxed on about how, for a music fan, there is nothing better than finding a pop songwriter when they hit their “moment.” It’s that time when an artist seems to be able to do no wrong. No idea is too bizarre, no concept too complex or vague, everything just seems to land. For Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal, it would appear that this time has come. The artist has spent a decade crafting quirky indie-pop albums that have always found critical acclaim, but with Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? he has found his way to a new plateau. While Mike O’Neill’s work on Winning Hearts came courtesy of his simplistic delivery of brilliant songwriting, Barnes succeeds through his merger of more off-kilter writing and studio insanity. The result sounds like The Flaming Lips performing songs Randy Nilsson and Prince wrote together at a meth party while Sufjan Stevens sings along in falsetto at gunpoint. It’s really fucking good. There’s a sadness present on the work that keeps Barnes from reaching the sometimes overbearing emotional highs present in his past work. Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? is adventurous, smart, fun and pretty much any other catchphrase you’d want to throw at a great pop record.