Yes, John Darnielle is back with a brand new Mountain Goats album, the rather splendid Heretic Pride, which everyone in HQ know, I was pissing myself excited to get hold of after waiting for ages.
No return to the old-style, grotty lo-fi Panasonic boombox recordings, which I really wish he would do, but another well polished and beautifully constructed masterpiece. Having just featured on Aesop Rock’s recent track ‘Coffee’ (also incredible), Darnielle has taken a more positive outlook and sound with this album, compared to the slightly more morose and downbeat sounds of previous albums, such as All Hail West Texas, which wallowed in lost longing.
So, a happy album and happy singing from a very distinct voice that blows away the awful warblings and screeches of recent voclaists, ala Nash and Allen. Not many people can make folk music cool, but Mountain Goats do oh so very well, and combined with giving away opening track Sax Rohmer #1 for free and an incredible video filmed by Ace Norton (yes, that’s right, Aes Rock video director), Herectic Pride is one of my top albums for this year so far. A lot seems to suggest that Darnielle might go back to the ‘Hail Satan’ stylings if the latest collaborations and videos are anything to go by, all my fingers are crossed for that one, but for now, this is perfect.