Episode 107: Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal)
Kevin Barnes has a cold. He looks tired, taking swigs of coconut milk from one of those oddly-shaped cartons, but his face is sparkling in the mid-day sun. It’s the first truly nice day in New York City in several months, and we’re jammed into a corner on the southside of a packed Union Square Park. Barnes asked if we could find a sunny spot to speak, so we walked the five blocks up from Webster Hall and now he’s sparkling in the sunlight with the residual glittering of last night’s show, like those teenage vampires of lore. It’s bright and it’s crowd and noisy as the city takes momentary respite from the longest, coldest winter any of us can remember. It’s hardly the ideal spot for frank and intimate conversation about the creation of art in the wake of lost love, but it somehow works, as Barnes and I discuss the Elephant 6 alum’s 13th record, Aureate Gloom and the painful separation from his wife that followed shortly after the release of his last album. It’s an honest and fascinating conversation with an artist’s whose musical themes are sometimes seemingly impossible to penetrate.