Mandolin Orange and Hiss Golden Messenger support new North Carolina fundraiser compilaton

If you were going to rank US states for their contribution to music over the years, North Carolina would be right up there and for fifty years, Carrboro’s live venue Cat’s Cradle has been at the heart of it, but like many independent venues across the US, it’s now in trouble as a result of the pandemic. As a response to this, a new compilation comes out today via Bandcamp called ‘Cover Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle’ which brings together some of North Carolina’s most notable artists across multiple genres but with a notable americana bent to support the venue including Chatham County Line, Hiss Golden Messenger, Iron and Wine, Mandolin Orange, Steep Canyon Rangers, Superchunk, Tift Merritt and The Mountain Goats among others. Each artist performs a cover version of a favourite song of theirs, with many recorded during the pandemic. Continue reading “Mandolin Orange and Hiss Golden Messenger support new North Carolina fundraiser compilaton”

The Mountain Goats “In League With Dragons” (Merge Records, 2019)

Do folk still make rock operas in the 21st century? Seems like it as The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle says that ‘In League With Dragons’ was originally supposed to be a series of songs about a “besieged seaside community called Riversend, ruled by a benevolent wizard.” Maybe Rick Wakeman wasn’t available to play the keyboards but the project morphed into this collection of slick songs which continue the sonic direction taken on their last album, ‘Goths’. Darnielle remains a whip smart writer, a cross between Willie Vlautin and Eef Barzley if you wish, with several of the songs here mini sketches of contemporary wizards such as rock stars and sportsmen. Continue reading “The Mountain Goats “In League With Dragons” (Merge Records, 2019)”

The Mountain Goats return, In League with Dragons!

The Mountain Goats, our favourite band to be named after animals since, er, The Animals, have announced their return with a new album called ‘In League With Dragons’ which is due April 26th on Merge. The cover of it’s spectacular, which you can gaze at below.  The album is described as “surging with wild tales of revenge and redemption, heroes at a crossroads, and great figures in decline,” with twelve new songs penned by John Darnielle that include a wide array of styles, from shades of the 80s Athens scene to swathes of outlaw country and a few motorik meditations.  Continue reading “The Mountain Goats return, In League with Dragons!”

The Mountain Goats “Goths” (Merge, 2017)

Whatever concept inspires John Darnielle is almost incidental to the progress that he has made as a writer and performer. The last record was predicated on the sad tawdry circus of wrestling and this one on Goths. Both continue his development into one of the great contemporary songwriters. The sonic palette continues to expand – you might expect a record about Goth to subculture to in some way ape the genre but Darnielle sidesteps this smartly. There are a few musical Goth references but mostly the songs eschew guitars and synths and rely on the subtle shading of woodwinds. Continue reading “The Mountain Goats “Goths” (Merge, 2017)”

Listen to the Mountain Goats’ new album, Goths

John Darnielle’s the Mountain Goats release their latest album Goths on May 19th. NPR are streaming it from today and you can listen to it here. For their 16th full-length album, Darnielle takes a conceptual detour. As its title suggests, it’s about growing up goth — about establishing a place for yourself among other outcasts — but it also finds the band shedding guitars and adding a fourth permanent member in multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas. Continue reading “Listen to the Mountain Goats’ new album, Goths”