Published Apr 10, 2020The Mountain Goats were once known for one-man acoustic anthems recorded on a boombox, and now songwriter John Darnielle has returned to his roots. The Mountain Goats just surprise-released Songs for Pierre Chuvin, their first boombox album in almost 20 years (since 2002's All Hail West Texas).
The album is out digitally through Merge Records, and it's currently only available on Bandcamp. Streaming services will follow next Friday (April 17), and there will be a limited run of 1,000 cassettes on June 19 (although, as of press time, pre-orders appear to be already sold out).
In a press release, Darnielle explained that he had been reading Pierre Chuvin's A Chronicle of the Last Pagans while the Mountain Goats were working on a new full-band album. After coronavirus forced the members back home to self-isolate, he busted out the old Panasonic boombox.
Not only did he use the same boombox, Darnielle wrote Songs for Pierre Chuvin with the same approach as his early works: he wrote a song a day for 10 days, with lyrics inspired by pagans and antiquity. Darnielle's original lyric drafts of these songs will be inserted into random orders of the cassette.
Listen to Songs for Pierre Chuvin below.