In the late 1990s, the band Of Montreal had deals with two different Japanese independent labels, including the estimable Quattro Records, which reportedly did very well by the American outfit. It’s easy to see why. Of all the groups that emerged from the Elephant 6 collective of freewheeling psychedelic pop bands (Elf Power, Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, etc.), Of Montreal were the most melodic and sincere in their pursuit of innocent romanticism, what with their use of toy keyboards, lightly strummed guitars and leader Kevin Barnes’ evocation of love in terms of flowers and childlike wonder. It was a quality they inadvertently shared with much of the Japanese underground at the time.
All their albums since the demise of Quattro Records some six or seven years ago have been licensed locally, but every time it’s been by a different record company. Nobody seems willing to stick with them, even though their U.S. popularity has grown considerably.