Few American bands can lay claim to the longevity and perseverance demonstrated by The Mountain Goats. Formed in 1991 as the moniker of singer/songwriter John Darnielle, their music has changed considerably over the past 20 years, moving from home-recorded lo-fi cassette tapes to more polished and crafted music in recent years. However, the sole constant in the band’s style remains Darnielle’s lyrics, which range from the surreal to the brutally honest.
Now, the band, which consists of Darnielle, bassist Peter Hughes, and drummer Jon Wurster, are set to release their 14th album, Transcendental Youth, on Merge Records on October 2nd. Darnielle describes the songs on the new album as being about “saddling up your demons and learning to ride them like devil horses with big, leathery wings.” Darnielle’s friend, writer and humorist John Hodgman, dryly claims that Transcendental Youth is about “people who madly, stupidly, blessedly won’t stop surviving, no matter who gives up on them.” You decide whether that’s depressing, inspiring, or a little of both.
Today, the band is offering up the first single from Transcendental Youth. Titled “Cry For Judas,” the band is giving out the single for free via Soundcloud. (Check at the bottom of this post for a stream of the song.) For those vinyl-philes out there, a limited edition 7-inch is also available by pre-ordering the album on the Merge website.
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
Give a listen to “Cry For Judas”: