The Mountain Goats aim to sculpt a new musical genre, “dragon noir,” on the band’s new album In League With Dragons, the latest LP and partial rock opera from John Darnielle’s prolific indie rock outfit.
The band recorded the 12-song In League With Dragons with producer Matt Ross-Spang at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios.
“This album began life as a rock opera about a besieged seaside community called Riversend ruled by a benevolent wizard, for which some five to seven songs were written,” Darnielle said in a statement.
“As I worked on the Riversend stuff, weird noir visions started creeping in… I thought these moods helped complicate the wizards and dragons a little, and, as I thought about my wizard, his health failing, the invasion by sea almost certain to wipe out half his people, I thought about what such a person might look like in the real world: watching a country show at a midwestern casino, or tryout pitching for an American League team years after having lit up the marquees.”
Somewhere in this equation fits “Younger,” the sprawling first single from In League With Dragons, with Darnielle weaving a languid tale amid a mounting wave of acoustic guitars and horns that meld into a clarion call.
Darnielle concluded, “I am earnestly hoping that a new genre called ‘dragon noir’ will spring from the forehead of nearly two years’ work on these songs, but, if not, I am content for this to be the sole example of the style.”
In League With Dragons arrives April 26th via Merge; the album is available to preorder now. Keeping with the album’s theme, Darnielle will divulge more about the LP Monday afternoon in a live Facebook chat with Wizards of the Coast, the makers of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering.
The Mountain Goats will also embark on a spring trek in support of their new LP, the band’s first full-length since 2017’s Goths.
In League With Dragons Track List
- Done Bleeding
- Passaic 1975
- Clemency for the Wizard King
- Possum by Night
- In League with Dragons
- Doc Gooden
- Going Invisible 2
- Waylon Jennings Live!
- Cadaver Sniffing Dog
- An Antidote for Strychnine
- Sicilian Crest