The Mountain Goats, the hyper-literate American purveyors of nerd rock, have announced a new album Dark In Here and have released its first single, ‘Mobile’.
How deeply ingrained are The Mountain Goats to my geeky subconscious? I first heard of the band through author John Green, a massive fan himself, who used to give shoutouts to the group on the YouTube channel he shares with his brother Hank, Vlogbrothers. Members of the channel’s community, subtly titled Nerdfighteria, would often ask him about the band since he claimed to listen to The Mountain Goats in an almost exclusive fashion. Further proof of nerd originals can be found in the band’s concept albums revolving around Dungeons & Dragons and professional wrestling, which mainly act as a framework for the band’s singular observations on life, death, mental health, and the fallible world at large.
The band originally started out as a solo project for singer John Darnielle, who would record his verbose folk-rock directly to a running cassette tape on a boombox. In the 30 years since the project’s inception, Darnielle has gathered a collection of talented musicians, including multi-instrumentalist Peter Hughes and Superchunk/Bob Mould drummer Jon Wurster, to accompany him live and in the studio as the group’s sound became more polished and stylistically varied. Recently, however, Darnielle returned to the band’s roots on last year’s Songs for Pierre Chuvin, which returned to the lo-fi boombox recording methods of classic albums like The Coroner’s Gambit and All Hail West Texas.
Do you want more nerdy facts? How about music nerd trivia? Dark In Here was recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama, the famous recording spot founded by members of The Swampers after their split from producer Rick Hall and the legendary FAME Studios that recorded some of the greatest southern soul of all time, including albums by Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, and Aretha Franklin. Muscle Shoals Sound Studio has held its own veritable legacy, being the studio that gave us The Stones’ Sticky Fingers, Paul Simon’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, and The Black Keys Brothers. Forever etched into history through its mention in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio is the perfect nerd fit for the perfect nerd band.
Take a listen to the audio for ‘Mobile’ down below. Dark In Here will be released on June 25th.