Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Every Friday, we present a song from a Northwest artist. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Cry For Judas” by The Mountain Goats from the 2012 album Transcendal Youth on Merge Records.
On October 2, 2012, The Mountain Goats will release their new album on Merge Records. Hardly young guys themselves, John Darnielle and the band look for Transcendental Youth in this, their fourteenth LP. In the late 90’s and early 00’s, he was grew to be a rising lo-fi star, recording mostly on a boombox in the early days, even as late as 2002’s All Hail West Texas, and penning incisive if sometimes acerbic lyrics. You can find out more facts about Darnielle, who is really the sole core member of The Mountain Goats, thanks to John Hodgman’s amusing account of his visi to Darnielle’s home and “awesome basement” here.
But what fans really want to know is what the new album will like. He’s already released a sneak peek, today’s featured Song of the Day, and the album’s lead single, “Cry for Judas.” The Mountain Goats mastermind says of the track, “Like a lot of the new album, this song is about saddling up your demons and learning to ride them like devil horses with big leathery wings.” Darnielle also says, “It is about survival but that’s kind of an oversimplification, it’s also about building a vehicle from the defeated pieces of the thing you survived and piloting that vehicle through the cosmos, it’s kind of complicated but people who know what I’m talking about will kind of intuitively get the idea and the rest of you will I hope be able to get a sense of it through the song.” Rest assured, John Hodgman deems the entire album “very good,” featuring once again Peter Hughes on bass and Jon Wurster on drums, and, “for the first time, a full horn section.”
You’ll have to wait for the October 2 release of Transcendental Youth to find out for yourself, but for now, you can find out more about the band on their website as well as their Facebook page. They’ll be touring the Northeast in October, including several already sold-out shows in NYC.
For now, here’s a fairly recent video, following one of Darnielle’s two main interests, heavy metal and the Bible (we’ll let you guess which this is about):