Really really stunning. The TMG back catalog is so good I sometimes deprioritize listening to newer stuff but!!! This album fucks, and everyone should listen to it. Also, "Harbor Me" is so profoundly romantic I wanna cry.
Favorite track: Rat Queen.
One of the things that fascinates me about the Mountain Goats is how, regardless of the increasingly complex instrumentation and new directions which emerge in their music (a combination of opportunities and collaborations that have opened up over the years and a restless chancing which I appreciate), they never entirely abandon a musical idea. Things show up, they grow and bloom, they reappear later, different somehow, having changed in the dark while you weren’t looking.
Favorite track: Bell Swamp Connection.
Sam Phillips Recording, Memphis, Tennessee March 1–6, 2020
John Darnielle: vocals, guitars, piano
Peter Hughes: electric and upright bass
Matt Douglas: keyboards, woodwinds, guitars, accordion, backing vocals
Jon Wurster: drums and percussion
JOINED FOR THE OCCASION BY
Bram Gielen: piano, guitars, keyboards
Chris Boerner: guitars
Charles Hodges: Hammond B-3
Sam Shoup: Mellotron
Tom Clary: horns
Reba Russell: backing vocals
Susan Marshall: backing vocals
Matt Ross-Spang, the man himself, the dude with the heater in the basement, the fellow you know from the back room, the man who will not personally sell you any knives but can direct you to a guy who has at least three, two of them quite exotic
Matt Ross-Spang, I just told you about him, he can see the holograms in the hidden hallways, he can spot the stars in the scatter-shot, he’s got the eye
Matt Ross-Spang, you may recognize his name, if at this point you don’t perhaps cut back a little on the paint thinner, he’s a man you don’t meet every day
Wesley Graham, known to many as Mister Wesley and rightly so, invaluable with the mic locker, inimitable on the placement, indispensable in the clutch
WITH, IN THE ROLE OF STUDIO ATTACHÉ, NONE OTHER THAN
Matt Denham, the guy who gets it done, on the scene with a laser beam
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS ARE SHORED UP, REINFORCED, AND MADE ROAD-READY BY
Ryan Matteson, the hidden hand, the presence in the shadows, the voice in the darkness, the power from beyond space, the Man from Madison, without whom we would have all gotten stuck at the NC-TN border trying to locate Memphis
KNIVES PROVIDED BY
Knives International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Knives Worldwide
If I told you all how much fun we had making this one you wouldn’t even believe me but we hope it comes through
Dedicated to the secret priests of the Bell Swamp, those oracles of Brunswick County, wizards of Winnabow, night lords of the thousand acres: whose domain yet grows, may its borders encompass the sky and all beyond
Mastered by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen Mastering, Carrboro, North Carolina
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. —John Hodgman, 2012...more