of Montreal – “Hydra Fancies”

In May we posted Janelle Monáe’s “Make The Bus” featuring Kevin Barnes/of Montreal. Monáe, in turn, appears on the forthcoming of Montreal album False Priest via “Our Riotous Defects” and “Enemy Gene.” Continuing the thread, Monáe’s producer Chuck Lightning has included Kevin Barnes a couple of times (and Monáe, of course) on the compilation he put together for the Believer’s 2010 Music Issue. (Full Disclosure: I am a Contributing Editor at said magazine.) One of the tracks is “Depraved Valet” by Roman GianArthur, a chilled-out slower jam that includes Barnes’ Prince-like come-ons dropped among some smooth others (more on that later). The other is a take on “Hydra Fancies” from the the aforementioned False Priest. It’s slightly different than what you’ll hear on the album proper. We have a few thoughts from Lightning’s liner notes re: the soulful song as well as the soulful song itself. The second context’s helpful in understanding what Barnes was up to with the new album.


Kevin Barnes sent me the demo of “Hydra Fancies” about a year ago, and it turned my world upside down. It’s a quiet storm of Camille-era Prince mixed with the tender, pastoral quality of the Beatles circa Revolver. Then Barnes went out to L.A., hooked up with Jon Brion, and the song was reborn as a funk-soul masterpiece. Wherever you are in the world, please stop what you’re doing, turn in the direction of Los Angeles, and bow in gratitude to Jon Brion for the beautiful symphonic roar of stacked Yamaha CS-80 synths at the end of this track.

of Montreal – “Hydra Fancies”

Lightning’s context:

01 Deep Cotton – “Self!”
02 of Montreal – “Hydra Fancies”
03 Roman GianArthur (Feat. Kevin Barnes) – “Depraved Valet”
04 Cody Chesnutt – “Come Back Like Spring”
05 Saul Williams – “B.S. In A Tampon”
06 Janelle Monáe – “Cold War (Wondamix)”
07 BLK JKS – “Iietys”
08 Spree Wilson – “Chaos”
09 Scar – “Rewind”
10 Rob Roy – “Velvet Rope Blue”
11 Hollyweerd – “Have You Ever Made Love To A Weirdo?”
12 Fear & Nancy – “Off The Grid”
13 George 2.0 – “Turn Off The TV”
14 M.I.A. – “Born Free”
15 Hot Heavy & Bad (Joi) – “One”
16 Tendaberry – “Cold Boy”
17 Mother Novella – “Closer 9 1?2”
18 Nina Simone – “I Never Cry”

The other context, of course, is False Priest, where you’ll also find “Coquet Coquette.” It’s out 9/14 via Polyvinyl. As far as the Believer compilation, get more info at believermag.com.

Tags: of Montreal