From The Desk Of Of Montreal: Julien Sorel

of Montreal’s music is hard to define, given it changes more often than frontman Kevin Barnes’ sequined and feathered outfits during a live show. One album might be heavy on the drum machine and synthesizer, while another showcases Barnes’ best high-pitched Prince wail with more traditional strings and percussion. The Atlanta band boasts a prodigious body of work; in a decade and a half, Barnes and Co. have churned out 10 albums, eight collections and 29 singles and EPs, including their most recent effort, thecontrollersphere (Polyvinyl). Barnes and of Montreal’s two art directors—wife Nina Barnes (a.k.a. geminitactics) and brother David Barnes—will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Nina: Julien Sorel is someone I find myself thinking about on a weekly basis. I don’t have a good explanation for this, but Sorel entered my life 20 years ago, and he will not leave. Le Rouge Et Le Noir (The Red And The Black) by Stendhal is said to be the first novel to venture into the psychology of it’s protagonist. Julien, the principal character of said novel, is often characterized as an opportunist, an avaricious fox bereft of morals. Yes, perhaps, but he is also very human, in a constant struggle between idealism and a strong urge to excel within his social hierarchy. A similar struggle I frequently find myself in, between what is good for all and what is good for me. I have not found the middle ground as of yet. Sigh …

Video after the jump.

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