The Mountain Goats have made available the first single from their forthcoming album, Transcendental Youth, entitled “Cry for Judas”.
John Darnielle said of the track,“Like a lot of the new album, this song is about saddling up your demons and learning to ride them like devil horses with big leathery wings. To the best of my knowledge, it’s also the first song ever to feature both a swinging horn section and a line about a baphomet drawn in chalk on an altar cloth, so everybody else who was trying to square that circle can take a breather now.”
Transcendental Youth will be released in the UK and Europe via Tomlab on 8th October. Also, if you pre-order at the Merge site the first 1000 orders will receive a limited edition 7-inch single with two exclusive songs: “Steal Smoked Fish” b/w “In the Shadow of the Western Hills”. Performed solo by Darnielle, the songs were recorded at by Brandon Eggleston at Cloud City in Portland and were tracked directly to 1/2″ tape without overdubs.
As John Hodgman so eloquently wrote in the bio for the new record, “John Darnielle has written almost 600 songs now, and some of them are very sad, dealing with hard drugs and tragic ends, hurting yourself and others, sicknesses of both body and brain, off-brand alcohols. They are told in beautiful, unnerving, specific detail because he is a very good writer, and also some of them are just true stories about his own life. These are the consolations; and if some of his songs suggest that there are real hells on earth, other songs remind that the heavens are equally close at hand. (Sometimes they are even the same songs.) It is my impression that this is the ecstasy John Darnielle is feeling: that thrill of having survived, escaped for even a second to enjoy those small transcendent delights, and to sing of them. Transcendental Youth is full of songs about people who madly, stupidly, blessedly won’t stop surviving, no matter who gives up on them.” John Darnielle has been called “America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist” by the New Yorker and last year was tagged on the cover as SPIN Magazine as, “Indie Rock’s Greatest Lyricist”.
Transcendental Youth was recorded at Overdub Lane in Durham with Brandon Eggleston and later mixed by Scott Solter at Baucom Road. For the first time, a Mountain Goats record features horns arrangements by Matthew E. White.
Transcendental Youth Tracklist:
1. Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1
2. Lakeside View Apartments Suite
3. Cry for Judas
4. Harlem Roulette
5. White Cedar
6. Until I Am Whole
7. Night Light
8. The Diaz Brothers
9. Counterfeit Florida Plates
10. In Memory of Satan
11. Spent Gladiator 2
12. Transcendental Youth
In other news, The Mountain Goats appeared on NPR’s ‘Cabinet of Wonders’, a variety show with celebrated musicians, writers and comedians. You can listen to Episode 2 below which also featured Craig Finn (of the Hold Steady), Rosanne Cash, and Hamilton Leithauser (of The Walkmen). Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Paul Harding read an evocative, unusual tale about life on the Nigerian oil fields. And comedian Eugene Mirman read secret messages he leaves on bar napkins, to surprise customers he’ll never meet.