Near the end of his 2014 novel Wolf in White Van, John Darnielle wrote, "There are only two stories: either you go forward or you die." Three decades into his career, it's easy to see which one he prefers. Darnielle and the Mountain Goats, his one-time solo project which has now solidified into a quartet, have remained in constant motion. After a five-month tour at the end of 2019, the group settled at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis to make 2020's Getting Into Knives, with a plan of heading south to Muscle Shoals, Alabama shortly afterwards to record the immediate follow-up.
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