"Let's kick back for a moment / toss all your worries in the air . . ." 

To most people it's just "that song about Antartica". Maybe you've heard it before—it's an earworm—if not the original, then perhaps the Outback Steakhouse spot.

This is how Kevin Barnes sealed the deal in transitioning of Montreal from a neo-psychedlia/garage/folk catch-all outfit into being his own personal baroque dance pop art project. The commercialization of this song made this new image sustainable. The record on which it appears, Sunlandic Twins, is a continuation of the changes (drum machines, synthesizers) begun with the prior year's release; this track may even be thought of as a retort to a track on that. But that's besides the point.

This song is why hipsters began revoking the indie cred card of these former Elephant 6 darlings. At first interviews were cut short (and then off), until eventually the band came to accept their fate of being synonmous with quasi-Aussi cuisine.

See, Outback only bought the licence for the music; not the lyrics. Their PR firm knew different lyrics were in order to sell that surf 'n turf. Dionysian imagery and allusions to tragic romances certainly weren't going to do the trick.

& on the subsequent tour for Sunlandic Twins, of Montreal was branded as Outback Steakhouse representatives far and wide. But it was an awesome tour, with elaborate lights and effects and costumes (they had back-up dancers on stilts wearing zentai suits with elongated masks with spooky faces on the scalp!). All that grandeur sure ain't cheap.

There were still some Outback Steakhouse royalties left over to finance a remix record after the tour, for which Broken Spindles did a stripped-down version of "Wraith Pinned To The Mist (And Other Games)".

Go ahead and give it a listen.

 


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