Unlike anything the Mountain Goats have previously released, this EP isn’t united by a concept, a string holding it together thematically. Instead, it’s scattered, in a very intentional manner. Also unlike anything the Mountain Goats have gone before, the four songs found on this EP were recording during different parts of the year, which probably is why each song varies so much from the next.
These are soft songs, lead by acoustic guitars and a woodwind section, yet they remain as cerebral as you’d expect from a Mountain Goats project. In typical fashion of lead singer John Darnielle, a line in the albums description reads “Only one of these songs is directly about death but the person or persons in all these songs will someday die”. This is a project mired by pessimism and downright ominous lyrics, yet everyone feels very distinctly human.
This is a band that has been around for 27 years, yet still find ways to remain interesting and relevant, and this project demonstrates that. It’s a short project, the EP format is something Darnielle has said he wishes to focus more on in the future, a sort of lost magic. If this is the quality we can continue to expect from upcoming Mountain Goat EP’s, then they are sure to delight every time.