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Listen to the Mountain Goats’ New EP Hex of Infinite Binding

John Darnielle stays busy, and continues to both surprise and confirm expectations about the kind of music he will make and the subject matter it will deal with. At recent shows, the Mountain Goats, somewhat surprisingly, covered both the Sex Pistols and Bon Iver. Less surprisingly, Darnielle reaffirmed his love of professional wrestling with the one-off single “Song for Sasha Banks” in June.

Now his band has released a new EP called Hex of Infinite Binding. It’s the followup to the Goats’ Marsh Witch Visions EP of last fall, which was inspired by the life of Ozzy Osbourne. Of the new four-track release, Darnielle wrote: “I used to release a whole bunch of EPs. I miss the general spiritual realm of the EP and am hereby centering an intention to spend more time thereat.” The songs were written and recorded over the course of the last year.

Thematically, Darnielle doesn’t explicate a clear unifying thread to offer but does clarify that although only one song on the EP is “directly about death but the person or persons in all these songs will someday die.” Listen to and download Hex of Infinite Binding below, and read Darnielle’s full statement about the project below that.

WELCOME WAYWARD TRAVELER TO THE HEX VORTEX. I used to release a whole bunch of EPs. I miss the general spiritual realm of the EP and am hereby centering an intention to spend more time thereat. These songs represent, in part, the first salvo of my resolve. “Almost Every Door” and “Song for Ted Sallis” were written at home in North Carolina sometime during the summer and recorded by Brandon Eggleston at Electrical Audio in Chicago during our three-night stand at Old Town School of Folk Music. “Tucson Fog” is a home recording from last December, things can get a little dark in December. “Hospital Reaction Shot” was produced & engineered by Chris Stamey at Modern Recording, Chapel Hill, NC; Chris also wrote the string arrangements and played bass and electric guitar. Percussion on “Almost Every Door” and “Song for Ted Sallis” by Matt Espy from Dead Rider, maximum respect. Only one of these songs is directly about death but the person or persons in all these songs will someday die. The death one, “Hospital Reaction Shot,” is drawn from a picture of Mickey Deans holding a press conference to inform the world of the death of Judy Garland, to whom he had been married for three months. Yet the press conference is a sham, because Judy Garland lives, as Ted Sallis lives, as do many others thought missing. They can often be found in the vortex shortly before sundown, plotting their return. We live in hope!

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