Dark in Here 2 X LP - Pre-Order -Indies Only Limited Edition Blue Vinyl (Housed in a Gatefold Sleeve with Etched Side D.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS

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Release Date – 25th June 2021

 

When the Mountain Goats got together in March 2020, it was to make not one album, but two. The idea was to again work with Matt Ross-Spang, the dashing Memphis wunderkind. Matt pitched we spend a week atSam Phillips Recording, his home base in Memphis, followed by another at the storied FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals,Alabama, a plan that dovetailed nicely with John’s notion of corralling these songs into two complementary batches: one light, one dark.

The Memphis album Getting Into Knives, would be brighter, bolder, marked by rich and vibrant hues; the Muscle Shoals album Dark in
Here, is quieter, smokier, but more deeply textured and intense. We were all aware of the mythos surrounding FAME. The second you
step inside you transport to its early ’60s heyday and its louche mid-’70s denouement. The room we set up in is the room where Percy
Sledge sang “When a Man Loves a Woman” and where Aretha Franklin recorded “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You).” The
Wurlitzer with which Spooner Oldham opens the last? It’s sitting right there. Spooner is living musical history, having played with
everyone from Bob Dylan and Neil Young to Linda Ronstadt and Liberace, for crying out loud. And Spooner is all over Dark in Here any
time you hear a bit of Hammond organ or electric piano chiming in without repeating a phrase. We tracked the album’s one outright
banger, “The Destruction of the Kola Superdeep Borehole Tower,” live with Spooner, and “Mobile” and “Dark in Here” with guitarist Will
McFarlane another local veteran who played with Bonnie Raitt for years. We only had Spooner for two afternoons, though, and Will for
just one. After it was just the four of us: John playing acoustic guitar and occasional piano, the rhythm section of drummer Jon Wurster
and myself, and our jack-of-all-trades Matt Douglas picking up everything else. The result is something more stripped down and intimate
than the lush arrangements of Getting Into Knives. Of “The Slow Parts on Death Metal Albums,” John concedes that the song is
autobiographical. While the lines, “In a new universe / trying to find the mask that fits me” would take on a newly literal connotation in
the weeks to come, the song is about going to late ‘80s metal shows at Fender’s Ballroom in Long Beach, and about seeking a sense of
identity and community in strange and occasionally forbidding places. This theme feeling at once conspicuous and invisible, the
frustrated craving for acceptance is echoed elsewhere. Then there are elegies to lost causes, some big and institutional (“The
Destruction of the Kola Superdeep Borehole Tower”), some small and personal (“Arguing With the Ghost of Peter Laughner About His
Coney Island Baby Review,” a tribute to David Berman, whose return from self-imposed musical exile had been cause for huge
celebration in our camp). “Before I Got There” neglects to identify its victims, or the tragedy that’s befallen them. John writes in the liner
notes that “if you’re looking for a governing theme here, it’s calamity, as all the songs are either anticipating one or reflecting one that’s
already happened.” Peter Hughes, Rochester, March 2021. SIDE A. 1 Parisian Enclave 2 The Destruction of the Kola 3 Superdeep
Borehole Tower 4 Mobile 5 Dark in Here 6 Lizard Suit SIDE B. 7 When a Powerful Animal Comes 8 To the Headless Horseman 9 The
New Hydra Collection 10 The Slow Parts on Death Metal Albums SIDE C 10. Before I Got There 11. Arguing With the Ghost of Peter
Laughner About His Coney Island Baby Review 12. Let Me Bathe in Demonic Light SIDE D [Vinyl Etching