New Sounds Goin' Round....

In 2005 The Mountain Goats released The Sunset Tree - a bruised and beautiful collection of songs documenting John Darnielle’s troubled early years. It turned out to be one of my favorite records of that year and still gets plenty of play around here. In 2006 they followed it with Get Lonely, an album that quickly got lonely at the bottom of a CD stack, hardly listened to beyond a few early spins. I can’t really explain the gaping difference in my reactions to these records other than saying one housed songs that spoke to me, the other didn’t.

This coming February 19th 4AD Records will release Heretic Pride, and album recorded with more outside help than the Goats have ever previously used - including Franklin Bruno, Annie Clark (yes, St. Vincent), Erik Friedlander, Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster, the Bright Mountain Choir, and was produced by Scott Solter & John Vanderslice. The first single has appeared online and finds Darnielle and company using those folks well - it‘s their most band-oriented song I can think of. Promising indeed.

MP3 :: Sax Rohmer #1
(from Heretic Pride. Pre-order here)

Bonus MP3 :: New Monster Avenue
(from Get Lonely)
Bonus MP3 :: Lion’s Teeth
(from The Sunset Tree)
Bonus MP3 :: Palmcorder Yajna
(from We Shall All Be Healed)
To me, The Magnetic Fields has always been one of those bands that’s more heard of than actually heard. I think the first few tracks to surface from the upcoming Distortion (Nonesuch Records. 1/15) are the first I’ve heard, or at least the first I remember hearing, and based on this limited knowledge of the band, I’d say the album is well named. There are lots of pleasant melodies swirling around in here, but they’re layered under some good old-fashioned Psychocandy-styled noise (“Too Drunk To Dream”, especially, seems poised to become the next great drunken sing-along, if not for the wall of lovely dissonance). Plus there’s kick-ass artwork.

MP3 :: Old Fools
MP3 :: Too Drunk To Dream (link to RCRD LBL)
(from Distortion. Pre-order here)

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