The Mountain Goats
unveil “Cadaver Sniffing Dog”
from upcoming album,
In League with Dragons
The Mountain Goats have unveiled the second song from their forthcoming album In League with Dragons, out April 26 on Merge Records.
John Darnielle said of the track: “My records indicate that I wrote ‘Cadaver Sniffing Dog’ on Christmas Day, 2017, which probably tells you more about me than the song itself could ever hope too. I’d had the title in a notebook for several years, and had made a run or two at it, but Christmas lights & early sunsets seem to have put me in the right frame of mind to to rise to the challenge of writing something morbid enough to live up to the name. Because I’m me, and favor sharp contrast, I went with something uptempo instead of, you know, a dirge.
The lyric is a noir vision of a crime scene investigation, and is a metaphor for a relationship in which there is nothing whatsoever left to salvage, because, as I mentioned earlier, it was Christmas, and, being the sort of person who really tries to get into the Christmas spirit, I — well, anyway, please enjoy “Cadaver Sniffing Dog.”
The propulsive, eerie “Cadaver Sniffing Dog” follows “Younger,” which was revealed with the album announcement last month alongside a Facebook Live Q&A and acoustic performance with Darnielle at Wizards of the Coast HQ (the makers of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering).
In League with Dragons was produced by Owen Pallett and engineered by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell, John Prine). It was recorded by the Mountain Goats—songwriter and guitarist Darnielle, drummer Jon Wurster, bassist Peter Hughes, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas—at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN. Robert Bailey contributed additional vocal arrangements and strings were performed by the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra.
John Darnielle says of his new record, “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.
When I’m focusing on a project, I always distract myself from the through-line with multiple byways, which are kind of like mini-games within the broader architecture of a long video game. As I worked on the Riversend stuff, weird noir visions started creeping in, probably under the influence of Leonardo Sciascia (a Sicilian author, he wrote mysteries) and Ross MacDonald’s The Zebra-Striped Hearse, which a friend from Port Washington gave me while I was in the thick of the writing. 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
John Darnielle and Matt Douglas will be touring here this November in support of the album:
November 15 – London, 02 Shepherds Bush Empire
November 16 – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
November 17 – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
November 18 – Glasgow, St Luke’s
November 20 – Dublin, Button Factory
Additionally, John’s acclaimed podcast show I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats, co-hosted withWelcome to Night Vale co-creator Joseph Fink, will return with season two early April with an unprecedented look at the creative process of writing, recording, and releasing In League With Dragons including original demos of every single track on the album.
Track list for ‘In League With Dragons’
1. Done Bleeding
3. Passaic 1975
4. Clemency for the Wizard King
5. Possum by Night
6. In League with Dragons
7. Doc Gooden
8. Going Invisible 2
9. Waylon Jennings Live!
10. Cadaver Sniffing Dog
11. An Antidote for Strychnine
12. Sicilian Crest