Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Of Montreal - Oslo in the Summertime


Summer in Norway. That's something I have no experience with. Kevin Barnes however has had plenty, as some of this album The Sunlandic Twins was recorded there, and its where he was married to wife Nina, who is Norwegian herself. They lived there as a couple for a while where they conceived and began to raise their first child, a girl they named Alabee. Then there's of course the story how their relationship soured, they split, and Kevin returned to the States deeply depressed, getting prescribed antidepressants and even writing a dark introspective album about the experience (this years' Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?) That's another story though, as this song comes from a different period in Kevin's life. For information's sake, nowadays Kevin and Nina are back together and happy, and Nina along with Alabee joined the band for some of their current tour. At the show I went to earlier in the year I could see three-year-old Alabee dancing at the side of the stage for a few songs.

Now "Oslo in the Summertime" is a catchy little number, one of my favorites off of The Sunlandic Twins. There's not much to say about the lyrics, as they're mostly made up of observations while in Oslo...in the summertime. I like how Kevin's lyrics are of either two types, fantastic stories about fictional characters (present mostly on his earlier records, specifically The Gay Parade) or various personal experiences. With this song you really get a sense for what it must be like to visit Norway during the Summer, with the personal little tidbits of information here bringing home the often odd but always engaging sensation of being in a foreign land. You can also dance to it.

Of Montreal - Oslo in the Summertime

"Oslo in the summertime nobody can fall asleep
I’m staring out the window from my bed
At 4 a.m. the sun is up
look the sky is peppered with sea birds and with crows all cackling

Up in tre ten Heimdalsgate
me and Nina making fun of footballers in Rudolph Neilson Plass
I practice my Norwegian on poor beffudeled waitresses
who shake their heads completely at a loss
Oslo in the summertime the streets are strangely quite ’cause
everyone’s away on holiday

Oslo in the summertime Pakistani children play locked inside of the courtyard all day
Pretty people everywhere sun lamp tans and flaxen hair
Just tell the American not to stare"


Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins @Polyvinyl Records

1 comment:

Lesley, ex-pat in Tokyo said...

I agree oslo in the summertime is fantastic. Of Montreal is amazing. Also, nice to hear a bit on the background of Kevin and Nina. He's so intelligent and successful, you'd think that he'd always be perfectly happy.