Photo: Jackie Lee Young

The Mountain Goats announce new album, Jenny from Thebes, share gorgeous rambler “Clean Slate”

It’s only been a year since The Mountain Goats released their last album, 2022’s Bleed Out, but they are back with another collection of tunes (the band might say showtunes) called Jenny from Thebes — a sequel to their 2002 album, All Hail West Texas. The lush  theatricality lays out the band’s affection for all things Godspell, Jim Steinman, and The Cars. Produced by Grammy-winning producer/engineer Trina Shoemaker, Jenny from Thebes features collaborations with Alicia Bognanno (Bully), Matt Douglas, Kathy Valentine (of The Go-Gos) and Matt Nathanson.

Lead single “Clean Slate” is a gorgeous offering, awash in strings, horns, and piano, a dynamic realization of the band’s ever-shifting aesthetic. John Darnielle’s voice is as fluttering and incisive as ever, with the band following in step with every vocal tic and syllable murmured. Details are crisp, and the journey is well catalogued; a story is continued, and we’re surrounded until all we see is the horizon in the distance and the fading sun calling us further on.

We’re proud to reveal ‘Clean Slate’, the first song from our new album, Jenny from Thebes,” says Darnielle. “People like to hedge bets by using terms like ‘concept album’ but let’s be clear, this is a rock opera about a woman named Jenny, who buys a Kawasaki to ride as far away as she can from a town she’s been carrying on her shoulders too long. ‘Clean Slate’ sets the scene: this is the house Jenny rents; these are the people who crash there when they need a place to stay; this is where she’s at in the process of becoming someone other than the keyholder she’s been. Produced by Trina Shoemaker! Played by the Mountain Goats at the Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma! Respect to the real pirates of west Texas, still out there on the roads: may you remain one step ahead forever!

Listen to the song below.

The Mountain Goats’ new album, Jenny from Thebes, is due out October 27 via Merge Records. Follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.