Sex Karma
by Of Montreal (featuring Solange)

Album: False Priest (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This was the first song that frontman Kevin Barnes wrote for False Priest. However, after deciding it would be better served by a female singer, he offered the tune to his pal Beyoncé's younger sister Solange Knowles for her own album. Barnes told Spin magazine: "When I wrote a new song called 'Sex Karma,' I thought it would be cool if it appeared on her record. I sent it to her and for a while that was the plan. But I really liked it and changed my mind, and we decided to record it as a duet. Which works because the lyric 'You look like a playground to me, player,' is funny for a guy to sing. I didn't know if I could pull that off."
  • Barnes and Solange's duet was inspired by one of the Of Montreal frontman's favorite partnerships - the late-'60s collaborations between Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. "The thing I love about Marvin and Tammi is that there's a sort of feistiness between them, a sexual energy, but they're always trying to restrain themselves, even though the chemistry is so great," Barnes told Spin. "Whenever I perform with Solange or Janelle [Monae, another collaborator on False Priest], it's that same sort of feeling, this excitement just to be onstage with them."
  • Barnes admitted he cribbed one of the lyrics from his young daughter, who coined the line, "You look like a playground to me." "Yeah, I kind of stole that lyric from her," he said. "When she said it she was 3. Whenever she's singing, I always listen because she comes up with some amazing ideas."
  • L.A. superproducer and film-music composer Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Kanye West, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) added a Mighty Wurlitzer, one of the biggest pipe organs in the world to this track. "We went to this church that had one, set up a bunch of mics, and [Brion] played all this crazy stuff on it," Barnes recalled. "It was a really magical experience."

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