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The Mountain Goats are an American band formed in Claremont, California, by singer-songwriter John Darnielle. The band is currently based in Durham, North Carolina. For many years, the sole member of the Mountain Goats was Darnielle, despite the plural moniker. Although he remains the core member of the band, he has worked with a variety of collaborators over time, including bassist and vocalist Peter Hughes, drummer Jon Wurster, multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas, singer-songwriter Franklin Bruno, bassist and vocalist Rachel Ware, singer-songwriter/producer John Vanderslice, guitarist Kaki King, and multi-instrumentalist Annie Clark.
Throughout the 1990s, the Mountain Goats were known for producing low-fidelity home recordings (most notably, on a cassette deck boombox) and releasing recordings in cassette or vinyl 7-inch formats.Since 2002, the Mountain Goats have adopted a more polished approach, often recording studio albums with a full band.
In March 2020, while the COVID-19 pandemic left the band unable to tour, Darnielle retrieved his old Panasonic RX-FT500 tape deck and recorded 10 new songs, using the direct-to-boombox method for the first time since 2002’s All Hail West Texas. The resulting album, entitled Songs for Pierre Chuvin, was inspired by Darnielle’s reading of Pierre Chuvin’s 1990 book A Chronicle of the Last Pagans, and was released digitally on April 10, 2020, with a limited physical release on cassette through Merge Records.