We May Have Lost Bowie, But At Least We Still Have Barnes
Bold statement, I know. But I wouldn't say it if I didn't believe it.
Here are 6 reasons why I think Kevin Barnes from of Montreal is on par with the genius and the magic that was David Bowie, God rest his soul.
1) They're Genre-Blenders...
of Montreal's latest album, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, is a dance-y, techno, sax (and sex) - filled commentary on life in the digital, Trumpian age. You'd almost never guess that they're the same artist behind indie/low-fi Cherry Peel, funkadelic False Priest, and whimsical, Anglophilic Satanic Panic in the Attic.
Bowie was just as, if not mores, varied and experimental throughout his career. Both are not AFRAID to reinvent who they are as artists... again, and again, and again.
2) And Gender-Benders.
That's not to say you HAVE to swing both ways in order to be a great artist... but it is definitely worth pointing out that Bowie and Barnes are as openly fluid about their gender identity and sexual orientation as they are with their musical identity.
3) They're Not Even Themselves, Really.
Bowie is Ziggy Stardust. Barnes is Georgie Fruit. (And Beyonce is Sasha Fierce!) Through their alter egos, these artists have the ability to more deeply share their stories and concept albums of our time.
4) Their Art Spans Several Mediums
Bowie's movie Labyrinth was EVERYTHING. Barnes collaborates with his brother, David, on their album covers. Never been to a Bowie concert of course, but Barnes' stage sets are their own shows inside of a show.
5) They Create Art for the Sake of Art
Bowie was with us at least 4 decades. Barnes has been on the map for 20 years. Warning: this is where my fangirl comes in. But I truly believe they create because they MUST create. Not because they must sell albums or become famous.
6) And Their Music Is A Gift
For me, my favorite artists are those I return to time and time again. Whether I'm sad, happy, contemplative, alone, with friends, or anything in between, both Bowie and Barnes have albums that meet me exactly where I am and leave me transformed into a better version of myself. And really, isn't that what music is all about?
TL;DR? Bowie, I miss. you. And Barnes, you've done it again, you genius, you. of Montreal's latest album, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, is EVERYTHING. And I absolutely cannot WAIT to see them live for the 3rd time in my life later this month!