Gulping Plankton: of Montreal, False Priest.

False Priest is Kevin Barnes’ tenth studio recording under his heartbroken guise, of Montreal. That’s to say that of Montreal have now spawned a handful more records than Oasis ever did. Not that the cosmic pop contained within False Priest pertains to all that many parallels with Mancunian oafs thriving on vacuous anthemia. Especially as Noel & Liam effectively employed subastral capos to regurgitate the same four chords over, and over, and over again, whilst False Priest alone is brimming with a bustling galaxy of styles, sounds and genres.

Chameleonic and hypnotic, I Feel You Strutter sees Barnes’ symbiotic vox imitate both Jake Shears and Ana Matronic simultaneously over a psychedelic romp that’d get Gruff Rhys huffing and puffing beneath his Power Rangers helmet. Sex Karma is Luke Steele emerging from his cocoon of self-righteousness to take on the modest suaveness of Parisian sweethearts Phoenix with a little help from Béyonce’s (no longer baby) sister Solange, as divine backing coos and intergalactic orchestration burrow beneath lyrical abstraction and comparisons of bodies and playgrounds. Like A Tourist could have snap-happy types gyrating anatomical bits and pieces like George Clinton, were his wildest funk dreams ignited and every outgoing phone call automatically tuned into his back catalogue. Godly Intersex partners wily, melancholic guitars and keys that spiral into Barnes’ coyly comedic musings, before the spirit of Justin Hawkins seeps onto the most chipper of choruses. Enemy Gene is gorgeously discreet, Janelle Monáe sounding sensually irresistible as per, whilst its racing instrumentation is as elaborate as Roman cornicing, as twinkles bound about ecclesiastical organs and whispering flutes. Bizarrely overstated yet underestimated, False Priest is to contemporary music what plankton is to the survival of the human race: peripheral, seemingly entirely irrelevant, but ultimately crucial. Barnes rejuvenates and renovates the stagnancy of concurrent pop music, a mire currently dictated by outlandish claims and the dropping of the stalest names. That said, the operatic shrilling thrills of Our Riotous Defects (once again featuring Monáe), despite being musically orgasmic and lyrically, astutely seminal, quite probably won’t be ghettoblasted as Tinie Tempah gets Frisky. As Barnes questions making sense of his “crazy girl”, there seems little worth in bending your conscious rationale round False Priest. For he’s a crazy boy, perhaps one of the craziest.