Published Jul 19, 2013Here's a tip for Twitter and Tumblr users: follow John Darnielle. The Mountain Goats' leader has been known to unleash rarely heard freebies via his social networking sites, most recently unveiling a 2002 demo called "You & Me & A High Balcony."
The song sounds like a typical Darnielle demo in that it features acoustic strumming, his unique nasal voice and characteristically poetic lyrics. In a blog post, he explained the song's origins thusly:
OK so earlier on Twitter I mentioned that I ran across a CD marked "New '02" while "cleaning the office." It consists, on auditing, of a bunch of songs that were new in 2002. Plenty of them got recorded at Bear Creek for We Shall All Be Healed; some didn't. This one seemed worth letting out of its lonely cage. It audibly doesn't really belong with the songs from We Shall All Be Healed: it shares some themes (meth, tawdry motels) but is formally in a pretty different ballpark and it's also not very personal, whereas the songs that did end up making We Shall All Be Healed marked my first steps toward writing from direct experience.
He noted that he isn't accepting money for the song, but encouraged fans to buy the Mountain Goats' new reissue of All Hail West Texas, due out July 23 through Merge.