Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes predicts that the group will follow-up this year's "Paralytic Stalks" by "releasing singles for awhile" before putting out another full-scale album.
"I think it's in interesting way to go and kind of seems in sync with the climate of the industry right now," Barnes tells Billboard.com. "'Paralytic Stalks' was very much an album; I wasn't thinking about singles or radio play or anything like that. But I'm still a huge fan of pop music. I love the format and the restriction to try to do as much as you can within a three-minute space. But at the same time I don't feel limited. It can still be what you want. (The Beatles') 'Strawberry Fields' was a single; you can't dance to it, but it's a wonderful piece of art."
Barnes says he has two songs, "Middle Child" and "The Triumph of Disintegration," "really close" to being completed for release. Unlike "Paralytic Stalks'" more internalized and personal lyrics, Barnes says the new songs convey "sort of universal themes to help people get through problems or issues they have -- economic issues, psychological issues. On 'Paralytic Stalks' I was working through some of my own things, but these are definitely broader, universal themes." He hopes to start releasing the singles this fall "and then maybe compile them as an album some time next spring."
Barnes is also putting a compilation of outtakes from "Paralytic Stalks" and its three predecessors -- 2010's "False Priest," 2008's "Skeletal Lamping" and 2007's "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" -- which he hopes to have out in September or October. "'False Priest' was a very productive time," notes Barnes, who put some of the non-album songs on an EP ("theconstrollersphere") but has another half dozen intended for a second EP that never came out. But he also understands the skepticism around such odds 'n' sods packages.
"There's that thought that, 'Oh, if it wasn't good enough to make the record, why would you even release it?'" Barnes notes. "It's mainly for people who are way into the band, definitely not something for mass consumption, but there's a lot of interesting and challenging songs that those people will enjoy. You understand when you're releasing something like that there's only a small percentage of the population that's going to be into it, but it doesn't mean you can't release it. If my only aim was to please the largest amount of people all the time, I wouldn't be who I am, I guess.
Of Montreal recently wrapped up a North American tour to support "Paralytic Stalks." The theatrically minded group has three European festival dates booked for August in Portugal, Switzerland and the U.K. but will otherwise be concentrating on new music, Barnes says.