New Mountain Goats video: Training Montage

Video: the Mountain Goats – “Training Montage”

From Bleed Out, due August 19 on Merge.

Oh this is good. I understand why bands like to change things up over time and grow artistically or whatever, but I also appreciate it when they go back and throw their old fans a bone. In 2020, at the beginning of Covid, when we were all terrified and hopeless and locked down, John Darnielle recorded and released the first Mountain Goats album recorded entirely on his Panasonic boombox since 2002’s All Hail West Texas. It was like a comforting hug from a friend you hadn’t seen in years. The protagonists on Songs for Pierre Chuvin are all defiantly doomed pagans in the process of getting wiped out by the early Christian Roman Empire, and it was exactly what we needed in that moment.

Other than Chuvin the recent Mountain Goats albums have seen the band go in a more lush, almost jazzy direction with Darnielle spending more time on piano than beating the crap out of his acoustic guitar. Then last year, out of nowhere, for reasons that only make sense in these decidedly unroaring twenties, a song from 2002’s Tallahassee went viral on TikTok. “No Children” is a spiteful divorce anthem that drives a nail into the coffin of Darnielle’s characters known as the Alpha couple.

This new song sounds like it would fit better next to anything on Tallahassee than In League with Dragons or Dark in Here. I’m not suggesting that the Mountain Goats are trying to crassly capitalize on their unexpected moment in the sun, since the new album was secretly recorded back in January 2021, months before anybody was choreographing dance routines to a chorus of “I hope you die!” But it’s got more of that old-school (well, mid-school, I guess), 4AD-era Mountain Goats feel. That’s the era I love unreservedly.

Darnielle describes the vibe of the new album: “I got this idea to write a bunch of songs where they were all uptempo mini-action movies. Plots, characters, heists, hostages, questionable capers, getaway cars, all that stuff. Gas pedal glued to the floor. Eventually, as you might guess I wanted at least one song where the tempo relaxed a little and that’s the title track but otherwise buckle up.”

Add to that the fact that it was produced by Bully’s Alicia Bognanno who also plays on it, and you know it’s going to be great. Can’t wait to hear the rest!

The Mountain Goats: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

2022 Tour Dates

Jun 25 Durham, NC – Durham Bulls Athletic Park (That Music Fest)
Jul 09 Charleston, SC – Music Farm*
Jul 10 Jacksonville, FL – Intuition Ale Works*
Jul 11 St. Petersburg, FL – Palladium Theater*
Jul 12 Tallahassee, FL – The Moon*
Jul 14 Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall^
Jul 15 St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway^
Jul 16 Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s^
Jul 17 Wichita, KS – Wave^
Aug 28 Richmond, VA – The Broadberry
Aug 29 Atlantic City, NJ – Anchor Rock Club
Aug 30 New York, NY – Webster Hall
Sep 02 Boston, MA – Wilbur Theatre
Sep 03 Pawtucket, RI – The Met
Sep 04 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
Sep 07 Kalamazoo, MI – Bell’s Beer Garden
Sep 08 McKees Rocks, PA – Roxian Theatre
Sep 09 Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Sep 10 Bloomington, IN – Bluebird Nightclub
Sep 11 Little Rock, AR – Little Rock Hall
Sep 13 Fayetteville, AR – JJ’s Live
Sep 15 San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
Sep 16 Austin, TX – Paramount Theatre
Sep 17 Fort Worth, TX – Tulips
Sep 18 New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s
Sep 20 Birmingham, AL – Saturn
Sep 21 Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theatre
Sep 22 Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel
Sep 23 Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
Nov 10 Vienna, AT – WUK Foyer~
Nov 11 Berlin, DE – Columbia Theater~
Nov 12 Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso~
Nov 14 Antwerp, BE – De Roma~
Nov 16 London, UK – Roundhouse~
Nov 17 Manchester, UK – Albert Hall~
Nov 18 Dublin, IE – Vicar Street~
* duo performance w/ Izzy Heltai
^ duo performance w/ Abby Hamilton
~ w/ Carson McHone

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