Mountain Goats Enter Their Steely Dan/Prefab Sprout Phase

by John Holbo on May 25, 2017

A couple months ago I made fun of an ‘inspired by Steely Dan’ Apple Music playlist that seemed to be basically a random assortment of tracks by bands, all of which had covered one Steely Dan song at some point. As I put it at the time: “Also, the Mountain Goats?”

How wrong I was! Their new album, Goths, is out. It’s a glorious, slick, lounge jazz-tinged demonstration that Danliness is next to godliness, albeit not gothliness. It also sounds like Prefab Sprout circa Steve McQueen, yet another good thing. YouTube has not hoovered up the tracks yet, but here’s a nice acoustic cover of “Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back To Leeds” (an early release from the album that didn’t quite do it for me; but the acoustic version sounds great. John Darnielle does the deceptively-simple-counter-rhythm strumming thing, which keeps life interesting, and his voice is sweet and clear. No guitar on the album itself.) From the album, I recommend “The Grey King and the Silver Flame Attunement”; also, “Wear Black”; also, get all your Gene Loves Jezebel nostalgia out with “Abandoned Flesh”.



Belle Waring 05.25.17 at 3:16 am



Stu 05.25.17 at 1:29 pm

The Mountain Goats showed up on that playlist because he/they covered “FM” by Steely Dan.


Gabriel 05.26.17 at 12:15 pm

The conceit of the album is wonderful; I wish I liked the music, but I don’t. I’d rather listen to some Gene Loves Jezebel, which I am, so all’s well.

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