John Darnielle keeps busy. After delivering All Eternals Deck just last year, Darnielle and the Mountain Goats return with Transcendental Youth, a contemplative record with themes of anxiety and longing. Opener “Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1” marches on ambling drums, forceful strums and Darnielle’s distinct, high-pitched vocals, while “White Cedar” burns bright and slow with tense horn arrangements and soft piano caresses. But Darnielle keeps things varied on Youth, rocking unabashedly with piano chord jabs and pure power-pop flair on “The Diaz Brothers.” “There’s always a lot of pleasure in my life,” Darnielle told Rolling Stone last month. “But what I do is find dark things to sing about and try and infuse them with some sort of triumphant power.”
Transcendental Youth is due October 2nd.
Listen to ‘Transcendental Youth’ here: