Fans have been jonesing to hear John Darnielle go long on his love of the Goth subculture ever since he announced his new album. That anticipation was ratcheted up another degree when the Mountain Goats’ mastermind announced that the album would have a total of zero guitar parts on it. Well, the wait is finally over. Goths is streaming now courtesy of NPR’s First Listen series.
Darnielle has geeked out before with concept albums about his youthful obsessions. His last album was a love letter to the pre-WWE wrestling circuits that traveled around the United States. But Darnielle always tries to take a clear look at things (even if characters like his famed Alpha Couple can’t). He previously explained how he avoided getting nostalgic while working on this album.
“I think being able to look at the past without getting nostalgic is a challenge for those of us who’ve been writing for a while because I think the trap of nostalgia is always going to be there, especially in the age of Facebook,” he said. “All your friends posting and saying things like, ‘Well, here’s when music is really good.’ I think it’s so toxic… Most of the writers I read are pretty obsessed with the past: The past is where most of the stuff is. There’s a lot more stuff in the past than there is in the present.”
Give Goths a listen up top to see if he pulled it off. And while you’re at it, take another look at our retrospective on what is (arguably) Darnielle’s best album.