Georgie Fruit Revisited (September 24, 2020)
More than a decade ago I created a songwriting persona named Georgie Fruit to help me escape from my chemical depression and neurosis. I wanted to become something glamorous and playful because I was suicidal and miserable. I wanted this character to be as far removed from my real life as possible. So many of my heroes are Black musicians and artists, so I made my writing persona Black. This writing persona was also Trans. Inhabiting this Trans persona actually helped me discover that -even before I knew the term for it- I have always identified as Non Binary.
At the time I had no idea the extent to which Black Trans people are victimized in this country and throughout the world. I definitely did not realize that I could have been contributing to this harm just by playing a character in my head. I didn’t have a lot of personal knowledge of Black Trans life so I relied on cheap tropes to breathe life into the character. The problem is that these tropes and stereotypes created a gross mischaracterization of Black Trans life to the point that it could seem like mockery.
It’s important to me that people understand that I'm cognizant of what is problematic about Georgie Fruit. I apologize to anyone who was hurt or misrepresented by Georgie. It definitely wasn’t my intention to create more pain in the world, especially for our most vulnerable friends. I regret giving Georgie a race and gender, and I know now that the term She-Male is a deeply offensive slur to Trans people so I have decided to remove that lyric from my song “Wicked Wisdom” on all future pressings and streaming sites.
Obviously so much has changed since the early 2000s, and I’ve changed with it. I’m happy to see the way things have changed, even if this new perspective casts a harsh light on my past mistakes.
Skeletal Lamping may be bizarre, complicated, and dense, but it's also extremely catchy and packed with slinky grooves that demand a physical response. Instantly ingratiating hooks abound as Kevin Barnes' compositions constantly mutate and shape-shift in ways that defy conventional pop song structure and album sequencing. Nevertheless, the record has its own internal logic, and its many tangents and detours feel entirely intuitive and organic in context. The movements mimic the shapeless, mystifying mingling of thoughts and emotions in the human mind, so even the most deliberately jarring transitions evoke a sudden shift in attention that is recognizable and commonplace, but rarely emulated in mainstream music.
Though of Montreal have never been strangers to expressing sexuality in their music, Skeletal Lamping finds Barnes fully immersed in the topic. Throughout the record, sexuality is presented as a broad continuum encompassing a wide range of experiences, anxieties, emotions and orientations. Barnes openly explores sex and gender roles without insecurity. They attempt to bring all of their fantasies, and terrors, to the surface, so as to better understand the machinery behind them. In Skeletal Lamping, Barnes argues that identity is fluid, malleable, and limited only by one's imagination.
The CD packaging is a completely unique 32-panel fold-out/pop-up art piece by David Barnes and Gemini Tactics. The deluxe gatefold 2xLP on 180 gram vinyl includes printed innersleeves and a giant die-cut horse poster.
This is a part of the Skeletal Lamping Collection.
Skeletal Lamping existed in seven different packaging formats: CD, LP, T-shirt, tote bag, button set, paper lantern, and wall decals. Each item in the Skeletal Lamping Collection included both the digital album and its unique packaging of the album art.