Originally from the college town of Claremont, California, singer/songwriter John Darnielle formed the Mountain Goats in 1991. The Mountain Goats have evolved, matured, and experienced many changes over the years. A lot of talented folks have passed through the Goats’ ranks as members or collaborators – including Kaki King, John Vanderslice, Annie Clark, Franklin Bruno, and many others – but Darnielle has remained the band’s only constant member. The group came to prominence with the release of the albums ZOPILOTE MACHINE (1994), SWEDEN (1995), ALL HAIL WEST TEXAS (2002), GET LONELY (2006), ALL ETERNALS DECK (2011), TRANSCENDENTAL YOUTH (2012), BEAT THE CHAMP (2015) and GOTHS (2017).
The Mountain Goats have continued to grow a dedicated fanbase while somehow remaining independent in almost every sense of the word. Bathed in the glow of critical success but dancing just out of reach of total world domination, John Darnielle has the luxury of doing things his way and avoids getting caught up in the trappings of the big music business machine. While Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Bright Eyes, Bonnie Prince Billy, and loads of other bands have fallen in and out of favor on a regular basis with critics and audiences alike, The Mountain Goats have managed to continue doing what they want without losing any of their credibility. More recent releases have only added to the band’s legend.
2023’s JENNY FROM THEBES, The Mountain Goats’ 22nd full length release, is a concept album about a girl by the name of… you guessed it… Jenny. The album’s opening track, “Clean Slate,” is a joyous opening with piano and a horn section driving the song forward. The album then begins to take an even more exciting turn, pulling back and revealing a string of riveting and varied tracks that are lathered in melody and passion… which is pretty impressive for a band with nearly two dozen albums behind them. Other highlights include the quirky yet pensive Pop of “Fresh Tattoo,” the urgent Indie Rock of “Murder At The 18th St. Garage,” and “Great Pirates,” which blends Indie Pop with a hint of Smooth Jazz and maybe even a smidgen of Yacht Rock. If you’ve managed to escape the charm of The Mountain Goats so far, let JENNY FROM THEBES be your gateway into a unique musical universe.
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
JENNY FROM THEBES