SEE: Mountain Goats – ‘As Many Candles As Possible’: monochrome prophecies from their second of the year

The Mountain Goats, photographed by Jade Wilson

PRODIGIOUS and fiercely loved East Coaster indie-folk outfit The Mountain Goats have announced their second album of 2020, Getting Into Knives, an album which they describe as “ … perfect … for the millions of us who have spent many idle hours contemplating whether we ought to be honest with ourselves and just get massively into knives”.

Getting Into Knives follows the wallet-bustingly limited cassette Songs For Pierre Chuvin from earlier this year – back to their roots and recorded on a boombox; one that’s already commanding north of £70 over at Discogs – and at which time it was revealed they’d been putting together new material in the same room where The Cramps recorded their 1980 debut album, down in Memphis.

And the first tastings of that heady session are with us now in the shape of lead single “As Many Candles As Possible,”, featuring the deep tones of Al Green’s organist Charles Hodges.

You can watch the video, directed by singer John’s wife Lalitree, below. Tastefully monochrome, it looks back to the first-ever lyric video, for Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues, as John hastily scribbles out his ominous prophecies: “The terms are vicious, time is tight / No one gets too much life.” as the song hives into crisply strummed being from a still of a selection of rusty blades. Smooth and autumnal 12-strings break through and riff.

It’s salutary, unblinking and discomfiting in facing up to a world that’s suddenly very different from how we would wish. There’s even eerie foresight buried in the album’s lyrics: “Everything becomes a blur from six feet away,” John sings on the track “Tidal Wave” – despite it being written years before the two-metre was anymore than the stuff of dystopian science fiction.

The Mountain Goats’ Get Into Knives will be released on cassette, CD, and double vinyl on October 23rd by Merge; there’s also a limited gold pressing over at the Merge store and salmon-coloured deluxe vinyl at the Mountain Goats store.

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