“Old Familiar Way” by Of Montreal

Of Montreal don’t get a lot of respect in the Indie scene, and are generally thought of as second-stringers. Their name, which despite their repeated denials is obviously a ploy to fool audiences into believing they are from the titular city, doesn’t help. (They actually hail from Athens, Georgia, which has been even more of a goldmine for great bands in the past, but Montreal was trendier with Indie critics at the time, having produced such critical darlings as Arcade Fire and the Unicorns around this band’s heyday). They were part of the Elephant 6 collective of Neo-Psychedelic Indie Bands, and fell on the more Psychedelia-influenced side of the Twee Pop trend. This song, from their first and most successful album, represents the potentially annoying side of Twee Pop…stiff, awkwardly self-conscious melody set to sentimental and entirely too quaint intentional cliches, all delivered with a detached, condescending sense of irony that becomes tedious very quickly. On top of that, there was already another Elephant 6 band, the Apples in Stereo, who dealt in pretty much the same shtick, but did it about a million times better, actually capturing the magical, whimsical wonder of Twee Pop at its finest.

Verdict: It’s bands like Of Montreal that give Twee Pop in general a bad name, and I’m kind of amazed they got as much critical acceptance as they did.

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