The Mountain Goats are very pleased to announce their new album Bleed Out with a video for its opening track, “Training Montage.” The album, a cinematic experience inspired by action movies from the 60s, 70s and 80s, was produced by Bully’s Alicia Bognanno and is released on 19th August 19th via Merge Records.
Bleed Out’s lead single “Training Montage” lovingly documents the getting-ready-for-battle scene in any action movie regardless of provenance and loudly declares its intentions: “I’m doing this for revenge.” It sets the tone for everything that follows on Bleed Out, an album delivered with the urgency and desperation deserving of its narrators and circumstances.
Heavily informed and influenced by their historic settings, Bleed Out is all pent-up energy and explosion, executed by a bunch of friends who were mainly happy to be in a room together making loud noises. In January 2021, just weeks after John Darnielle had started writing, his bandmates Peter Hughes, Matt Douglas, and Jon Wurster joined him at a studio in the woods near his home in Chapel Hill (Sylvan Esso’s Betty’s Studios). Everything was finished inside a week.
“So, heads up. I got this idea to write a bunch of songs where they were all uptempo mini-action movies. Plots, characters, heists, hostages, questionable capers, getaway cars, all that stuff. Gas pedal glued to the floor. Eventually as you might guess I wanted at least one song where the tempo relaxed a little and that’s the title track but otherwise buckle up. We hid out in the woods in Chapel Hill and made this album with nobody knowing about it. Proper secret-soldier style. It has been pretty hard keeping this under our hats, we are really proud of what we got here. Alicia Bognanno produced & played with us, and the great Shani Gandhi mixed. The first single is ‘Training Montage’ which does what it says on the tin, and you can pre-order the album now, and as for tour dates…you know we gotta bring these uptempo jams to a stage near you at the earliest possible convenience,” says John Darnielle.
Additionally, the Mountain Goats have announced a full-band US fall tour that kicks off in August. The band will also be doing duo tour dates this summer and hitting Europe and the UK in November. All dates below.
Watch the video for ‘Training Montage’ – BELOW:
Maybe you are just like John Darnielle: In the depths of the pandemic winter at the end of 2020, the Mountain Goats frontman passed the time trapped at home in North Carolina watching pulpy action movies, finding comfort in familiar tropes and sofabound escapism. But you are not really like John Darnielle, unless the action movies you found comfort in included French thrillers like 2008’s Mesrine, vintage Italian poliziotteschi, or the 1974 Donald Pleasence mad-scientist vehicle The Freakmaker. Or unless watching them brought you back to your formative days as an artist, when watching films fueled and soundtracked your songwriting jags and bare-bones home recordings and in turn inspired your 20th album to be a song cycle about the allure—and futility—of vengeance. But there’s no shame in not being like John Darnielle; few people are.
“On earlier tapes you’ll find these sound samples,” Darnielle says. “‘Oh, where’s this sample from?’ It’s from whatever movie I was watching while I was sitting around on the couch with a guitar. I watch a movie, somebody’d say something that I like the sound of and I’ll write that phrase down. And then I would pause the VHS, write the song, record the song on a boombox, and go back to watching my movie. I got into doing that again; I just kept watching action movies and taking notes on what they’re about and on what the governing plots and tropes and styles are. It was very much like an immersion method acting technique.”
“We often make a record and then bring in some guests who flesh out the textures,” Darnielle says. “And for this one, it was very much like a pack mentality. That sort of seemed to proceed from the songs.” One new face was that of Bully’s Alicia Bognanno, recommended to Darnielle by his manager as a producer who could help nurture the rougher-edged sound these songs requested. “We met up and hit it off. She’s a great guitarist. It was kind of just a lark, to see what would happen, and it was totally great.”
UK/EUROPEAN TOUR DATES:
10th November – WUK Foyer, Vienna
11th November – Columbia Theatre, Berlin
12th November – Paradiso, Amsterdam
14th November – De Roma, Antwerp
16th November – The Roundhouse, London
17th November – Albert Hall, Manchester
18th November – Vicar Street, Dublin
Supported by Carson McHone
1. Training Montage
2. Mark on You
3. Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome
4. Extraction Point
5. Bones Don’t Rust
6. First Blood
7. Make You Suffer
8. Guys on Every Corner
10. Need More Bandages
11. Incandescent Ruins
12. Bleed Out
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