Transcendental Youth by The Mountain Goats

This is the fourteenth release by The Mountain Goats, a Californian band formed by frontman and songwriter John Darnielle. While the songs ache with the wretched lives of the lost and lonely and despairing and drug addicted, Darnielle manages to give them all hope, with a sense of the only way is up.

Told in the first person and steeped in dark imagery, the songs are aided by glorious musicianship. From the anthemic to the acoustic guitar and piano-driven cuts, The Mountain Goats are a storytelling band that continue to mesmerise.

Lou Fulco works as a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.