The clip for "it's different for girls," which can be viewed above, is a dazzling tribute to underground ballroom culture. Wearing a bouffant wig and a psychedelic, '60s style women's pantsuit, frontman Kevin Barnes struts and swishes on a dance floor rife with rainbows and other queer imagery, often looking humorously deadpan among the colorful revelers.
The song offers some tongue-in-cheek references to the dangers inherent in binary gendering over an irresistibly funky, '80s synth-pop beat. "It's different for girls/They don't spit on the street," Barnes sings. "They don't piss on the seat/They don't have to size up every person they meet or create an elite or poison the game so no one else can compete."
The singer-songwriter, 42, told The Huffington Post that he and his bandmates said the song is intended as "a paean to all the wild-hearted counterculture groups of our species" rather than women exclusively.
"In a way I feel like most of us transition back and forth, psychologically, between female and male, and that sexual identity is a fluid concept," he said. "If mainstream society encouraged everyone to explore the different sides of our psyches and sexuality I imagine we wouldn't even have a use for words like 'gay' or 'straight' or 'transitioning.'"
Barnes, who said he identifies as "bi-peculiar," had no qualms about dressing in drag for the video.
"I love dressing up and getting glamorous or grotesque or whatever my mood calls for," he said. "I'm such a newbie at it and the only real challenge is not looking like a basic bitch, ha!"
Barnes called "Innocence Reaches," which is due out Aug. 12, an "eclectic" album in of Montreal's signature glam rock style. The new tunes, he said, were inspired by the likes of Holly Herndon, Sporting Life and Thundercat.
Although the "it's different for girls" video was shot in May, director Stephen Winter said its all-inclusive message feels even more "brutally relevant" in the wake of the June 12 mass shooting that killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida.
"This video shows a special world where girls, LGBTQ people and allies celebrate their affirmation, 'cause that space is rare and necessary," Winter said in a statement. "Love is going to win. It won't be an easy road, but we will see this achieved in our lifetime."