Stream The Mountain Goats Marsh Witch Visions EP

The Mountain Goats started out as just John Darnielle, an acoustic guitar, and a boom box. Over the years, the project has grown, adding more members and becoming musically lusher and more ambitious, to the point where Goths, the excellent album that the band released earlier this year, did not feature one single guitar. But on a new EP that he surprise-released in the middle of the night last night, Darnielle has gone back to his roots, offering up four new songs, with just him and an acoustic guitar.

Darnielle recorded the Marsh Witch Visions EP with producer Scott Solter. Its four songs are all based, in some way, on the life of Ozzy Osborne, who’s been an inspiration to Darnielle for a long time. (Darnielle published a great novella about Black Sabbath’s Master Of Reality in 2008.) The EP also features a demo version of the Goths track “Rain In Soho,” and Darnielle is offering it up as a pay-what-you-want download. Below, stream the EP and read what Darnielle has written about it on the band’s Bandcamp page.

Darnielle writes:

AT LONG LAST THE MARSH WITCH VISIONS EP RECORDED BY SCOTT SOLTER LIVE AND DIRECT IN THE OLD SCHOOL STYLE. FOUR SONGS ABOUT OZZY OSBOURNE PLUS THE HOME DEMO OF “RAIN IN SOHO” BEFORE IT GOT THE VOCAL ARRANGEMENT. IF YOU DONATED TO CHARITY BACK IN APRIL THEN PLEASE ACCEPT THESE SONGS AS A BELATED THANK YOU. IF YOU DIDN’T YOU CAN EITHER PAY WHAT YOU WANT OR DONATE TO A CHARITY, OR JUST DO WHAT YOU FEEL

DEDICATED TO MIKE K BACK IN CLAREMONT AT WHOSE HOUSE I FIRST HEARD MASTER OF REALITY WHEN I WAS SIXTEEN, DESPERATE & HIGH

RESPECT TO BIRMINGHAM

Download Marsh Witch Visions at Bandcamp. Goths is out now on Merge.