Wraith Pinned To The Mist (And Other Games)

Album: The Sunlandic Twins (2005)

Songfacts®:

  • This is one of the few Of Montreal songs with a pop structure, complete with chorus that starts off the song. There are a few obscure references ("Satyr in Cyprus," "Tristan and Iseult," but it's not nearly as dense as most of their songs and repeats the key line a few times:

    Let's pretend we don't exist
    Let's pretend we're in Antartica


    "On 'Wraith' I was making a few literary references in the verses to create an atmosphere that was a little more interesting to me than just a typical pop song, because the chorus is pretty simple," lead singer Kevin Barnes explained in a Songfacts interview. "I have a tendency to include the things that have been inspiring me or add interest into my lyrics. I have a lot of literary references, film references and music references in the lyrics, and it's usually things that just happen to be on my plate at that time, like things I was reading, things that I was watching."

    As for those two references, Tristan and Iseult is an ancient story of young lovers thwarted when she is forced to marry another, and a Satyr is a figure in Greek mythology known for pursuing nymphs.
  • The title comes from A Wraith In The Mist, a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow circa 1878. Longfellow wrote:

    His form is the form of a giant
    But his face wears an aspect of pain
  • Regarding the album title, Sunlandia is a fictional planet Barnes' wife Nina came up with in a dream. The concept is that she and Kevin are the only inhabitants of the planet.
  • This was used in 2007 Outback steakhouse Commercial, leading some fans to label Of Montreal a sell-out. Kevin Barnes replied with an op-ed in Stereogum, where he explained: "The only way to avoid selling out is to live like a savage all alone in the wilderness... No one s going to want to use one of my songs in a commercial five years from now, so I ve got to take the money while I can."
  • The animated music video was created by Lauren Gregg and Craig Sheldon. Many Of Montreal videos are animated with no band involvement, a big help when trying to attach visuals to lines like "let's pretend we're in Antarctica" and "maybe I'll never die, I'll just keep growing younger with you."
  • This was used in the 2008 movie Cloverfield and in the 2005 Weeds episode "Fashion of the Christ."

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