of Montreal – Young Froth/Taypiss
of Montreal’s Young Froth/Taypiss has some of the band’s earliest and most intimate tracks ever released. A young Kevin Barnes fills the record (more like a collection of songs) with his timid yet rich voice. Sounding more like demos or late Beatles bootlegs, the fidelity of the record isn’t the greatest, but it is what gives these songs their charm, transporting anyone who listens to Barnes’ bedroom in Athens, Georgia. It goes to show that a cheap tape recorder paired with catchy chords, earnest lyrics and a generous amount of phaser can still make an amazing record.
The lyrical stylings on Young Froth/Taypiss are some of Barnes’ most stream-of-consciousness to date; all the while they are completely relatable to any heartbroken 20-something. “Intestinal Giant” feels like The Beatles’ “Across The Universe,” and much like that song, holds some of the most compelling lyrics on the album: “You and your alternative motives, you and your salt and pepper hair, my sugar pill life, plum two pennies, back to the drawing board.”
“Murky Limits” is more of a timepiece on which Barnes sings about an ill-mannered girl, “I wouldn’t call her sugar, she’s more of a Sweet’n Low.” With in-your-face lyrics and fast chord changes, the sound gets grungier and 60’s-garagey, the sound that Elephant 6 bands are most known for.
It isn’t all bells and whistles like some of the later of Montreal records. Barnes really opens his heart up on the album, especially on “Propaganda,” declaring his only love with a descending minor chord progression that is sure to become any heartbroken loner’s anthem.
While the fidelity changes from song to song, the record is tied together with Barnes’ beautiful, raw vocals. Without the use of any reverb or delay, what you hear is what you get. Beautiful, heartfelt music sung by a young man destined for success.