Last November, The Mountain Goats released an Ozzy Osbourne-themed EP dubbed Marsh Witch Visions. The indie folk outfit is back today with a release that’s pretty much the complete opposite of heavy metal: a cover of the 2009 Bon Iver track “Blood Bank”.
The rendition was recorded for Aquarium Drunkard’s ongoing Lagniappe Sessions series and features additional contributions from the group’s longtime collaborator Matt Douglas. Mixing was handled by Chris Boerner, who previously worked on The Mountain Goats’ cover of War’s “Summer” from 2016.
Explaining why he decided to tackle “Blood Bank”, frontman John Darnielle said he initially thought the song was “about junkies in the Pacific Northwest donating plasma for money in the ’80s because that was a thing a lot of my friends did and a lot of those friends have gone home to God now.” He continued, “…so this song holds, for me, both great pain, and the sweet memory of friends too beautiful for this world.”
Elsewhere in the session, The Mountain Goats put their spin on Godspell’s “Save the People” and Robin Trower’s “Bridge of Sighs”. Stream the entire thing here.
The Mountain Goats’ last full-length, Goths, hit stores in May 2017. As for Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, he and The National’s Aaron Dessner are just days away from releasing their first album as Big Red Machine.
In related news, Third Eye Blind also recently covered Bon Iver’s “Blood Bank” for their new EP.
The Mountain Goats’ Lagniappe Sessions Artwork: