Regular as clockwork, John Darnielle's The Mountain Goats will be returning this year with a new album; it's called In League With Dragons and comes out on April 26th through Merge. As you may have guessed from the title, there's something of a concept to In League With Dragons

"This album began life as a rock opera about a besieged seaside community called Riversend ruled by a benevolent wizard, for which some five to seven songs were written. When I'm focusing on a project, I always distract myself from the through-line with multiple byways, which are kind of like mini-games within the broader architecture of a long video game. As I worked on the Riversend stuff, weird noir visions started creeping in, probably under the influence of Leonardo Sciascia (a Sicilian author, he wrote mysteries) and Ross MacDonald's The Zebra-Striped Hearse, which a friend from Port Washington gave me while I was in the thick of the writing. I thought these moods helped complicate the wizards and dragons a little, and, as I thought about my wizard, his health failing, the invasion by sea almost certain to wipe out half his people, I thought about what such a person might look like in the real world: watching a country show at a midwestern casino, or tryout pitching for an American League team years after having lit up the marquees. Finally, I wrote the title track, which felt like a drawing-together of the themes in play: rebellion against irresistible tides, the lush vistas of decay, necessary alliances. I am earnestly hoping that a new genre called "dragon noir" will spring from the forehead of nearly two years' work on these songs, but, if not, I am content for this to be the sole example of the style."

To us, the newly created genre "dragon noir" sounds like a gloriously expansive version of The Mountain Goats' storytelling alt-rock on new track 'Younger'. Across six minutes of spinning guitars and atmospheric instrumentation backing up an unspooling yarn from Darnielle, you'll find yourself totally engrossed. Check out 'Younger' below.

The Mountain Goats' In League With Dragons can be pre-ordered here ahead of its April 26th release.