Photo by Jeremy Lange
John Darnielle is having himself a good day. His latest novel, Universal Harvester, just hit the New York Times Bestseller list, and now his band, The Mountain Goats, has announced a new album. The indie folk outfit’s 16th (!) full-length follows 2015’s Beat the Champ, and like that previous release, it appears to be somewhat of a concept album.
Entitled Goths, the record features track titles like “Wear Black”, “For the Portuguese Goth Metal bands”, and “Rain in Soho” (the last of which features members of the Nashville Symphony Chorus). From the looks of it, the album will be about the goth subculture in much the same way Beat the Champ was about underground wrestling.
That’s definitely the case with the lead single, “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds”. Using Sisters of Mercy frontman Andrew Eldritch as a vantage point, the song tells the tale of musty London clubs that used to beckon young dreamers from Leeds. Take a listen below.
Due out May 19th on Merge, Goths was recorded at Blackbird in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Brandon Eggleston. If a note at the bottom of the Bandcamp pre-order page for the album is to be taken literally, the effort features “no comped vocals, no pitch correction, no guitars.” More information will likely be revealed during the Mountain Goats’ Facebook Live event scheduled for 4:00 PM EST today, February 22nd.
Update: During the Facebook Live stream, Darnielle confirmed a few of the details about Goths. All the vocals were indeed recorded live, and there are no guitars on the album. It also marks the Mountain Goats’ first effort with woodwinds player/arranger Matt Douglas as a full-time member of the band.
“The theme this time around is goth,” the band’s Peter Hughes wrote in a statement, “a subject closer to my heart perhaps than that of any Mountain Goats album previous. And while John writes the songs, as he always has, it feels more than ever like he’s speaking for all of us in the band, erstwhile goths (raises hand) or otherwise, for these are songs that approach an identity most often associated with youth from a perspective that is inescapably adult.”
Pre-orders are going on now via Merge. In addition to standard CD, digital, and double-LP versions, there’s a triple-LP package containing a bonus 12-inch EP called Selected Goths in Ambient pressed on track-light green vinyl called. The EP features ambient mixes of three of the album tracks plus one unfinished song called “Grave Dust”.
Watch Darnielle discuss the album and play “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds” on acoustic guitar below.
Goths Album Artwork:
01. Rain in Soho
02. Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds
03. The Grey King and the Silver Flame Attunement
04. We Do It Different on the West Coast
05. Unicorn Tolerance
06. Stench of the Unburied
07. Wear Black
08. Paid in Cocaine
09. Rage of Travers
11. For the Portuguese Goth Metal Bands
12. Abandoned Flesh
Mountain Goats have also announced a run of tour dates that includes shows with Jason Isbell.
Mountain Goats 2017 Tour Dates:
04/01 – Cary, NC @ Bond Brothers Beer Company
04/06 – Perth, AU @ Badlands
04/07 – Adelaide, AU @ Fowler’s
04/08 – Adelaide, AU @ The Ed Castle
04/09 – Marrickville, AU @ The Factory Theatre
04/11 – Melbourne, AU @ The Toff
04/12 – Richmond, AU @ Corner Hotel
04/13 – Byron Bay, AU @ Byron Bay Bluesfest
04/14 – Byron Bay, AU @ Byron Bay Bluesfest
05/22 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
05/23 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom
05/25 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
05/26 – New Orleans, LA @ The Republic
05/27 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
05/28 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
05/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ Mayan Theater
06/01 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
06/02 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
06/04 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
06/05 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
06/23 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre *
06/24 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre *
06/26 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall *
06/27 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion *
06/28 – Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre
06/30 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion *
07/01 – Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion at Riverband Music *
07/02 – Huber Heights, OH @ Rose Music Center *
07/05 – Papillion, NE @ Sumtur Amphitheater *
07/06 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooley’s
07/07 – Saint Paul, MN @ The Palace Theatre *
07/08 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
07/09 – Bloomington, IL @ Castle Theatre
07/11 – Sioux Falls, SD @ The Washington Pavilion *
07/12 – Saint Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House *
07/13 – Oklahoma City, OK @ ACM@UCO Performance Lab
07/14 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater *
* = w/ Jason Isbell