10. The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
The Mountain Goats have been pumping out albums lately. Four albums in the last five years is no small feat, especially when they’re this brilliant. Somehow, even with the birth of his first child, John Darnielle managed to follow up last year’s All Eternals Deck with another new release this year.
And Transcendental Youth isn’t just a by-the-numbers Mountain Goats album — although they could definitely make those forever and I’d be totally happy. Darnielle, bassist Peter Hughes and drummer Jon Wurster teamed up with Matthew E. White, whose horn arrangements added another shade of life to the already-great songs.
Even paired with the range of the whole Mountain Goats catalog at their live shows, the Transcendental Youth songs stand out as some of the strongest. “Amy AKA Spent Gladiator 1,” written for Amy Winehouse, and “Harlem Roulette” are already fan favorites. The title track gleams like something from the big-band jazz era, and “The Diaz Brothers” might be the catchiest Mountain Goats song ever.
There are always fans wishing Darnielle would go back to his lo-fi tape recorder — which he sort of satisfied with the “Night Light” demo — but the Mountain Goats are in top form on Transcendental Youth.
Posted in Album Reviews, Music Reviews
Tagged Amy AKA Spent Gladiator 1, Cry for Judas, Harlem Roulette, John Darnielle, Jon Wurster, Matthew E. White, Merge, Night Light, Peter Hughes, SoundCloud, The Diaz Brothers, The Mountain Goats, Top 20 of 2012, Transcendental Youth
The Mountain Goats‘ fourteenth album, Transcendental Youth, is out today. To celebrate its release, Merge released an early demo of “Night Light,” from the new album.
The demo is just frontman John Darnielle on guitar and vocals, with a bit of added piano, but the most stripped-down Mountain Goats tracks always capture the brilliance of his writing.
Check out the demo for “Night Light” below, which is also available for free download from Merge’s SoundCloud. Transcendental Youth is out today.
The Mountain Goats are releasing their fourteenth album, Transcendental Youth, this fall. Originally a solo outlet for John Darnielle, tMG now features bassist Peter Hughes and drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Bob Mould).
Transcendental Youth expands that lineup a bit further, at least temporarily. Darnielle asked multi-instrumentalist Owen Pallett (who, besides his excellent solo work under his own name and Final Fantasy, has worked with Arcade Fire, Beirut and Fucked Up) to arrange strings and Matthew E. White to do horn arrangements.
White’s horns really open up the album’s first single, “Cry for Judas.” The Mountain Goats have come a long way from Darnielle’s Panasonic RX-FT500 boombox recordings, but they’re still every bit as good.
Transcendental Youth comes out October 2 via Merge. The first 1,000 pre-orders will include a bonus 7″, which features two exclusive tracks: “Steal Smoked Fish” and “In the Shadow of the Western Hills.”
Posted in Music Reviews, Track Reviews
Tagged Cry for Judas, Indie, John Darnielle, Jon Wurster, Matthew E. White, Merge, Peter Hughes, SoundCloud, The Mountain Goats, Transcendental Youth