The Mountain Goats Share “Fresh Tattoo,” Announce Tour Dates

The Mountain Goats share “Fresh Tattoo,” the driving new single from their recently announced new album, Jenny from Thebes (Merge Records). The track features Alicia Bognanno from Bully on guitar, horns by Matt Douglas and Evan Ringel, and backing vocals from Matt Nathanson.

A sequel to their beloved 2002 album All Hail West TexasJenny from Thebes is a lush collection of showtunes, pushing John Darnielle as a vocalist and the Mountain Goats as a band, broadening their sonic palette once again by leaning into influences like Godspell, Jim Steinman, and The Cars. Jenny from Thebes, out October 27, is a widescreen musical in scope, a melodrama of richly detailed characters and sweeping emotions.

Of the song, John Darnielle says: I wrote ‘Fresh Tattoo’ over the course of several sessions at the piano in March of 2022. I felt an affinity for the story in it and for how it developed, and I was proud of the song. In December that year, I sent it to my old friend Matt Nathanson, who hosted the open mic night where the Mountain Goats got their start back in the early nineties. Come sing on my song, man, I said, I wouldn’t even be here without you. I’ll be there, he said.”

“Sometimes when I go into the studio, I fret that we won’t be able to translate my alone-with-an-instrument vision to the big room. But what my band, and Trina Shoemaker, and Alicia Bognanno, and good old Matt Nathanson did with it exceeded even my highest expectations. When Jon breaks into straight 4/4 at the song’s climax it feels like a high-performance car emerging from a turn into a straightaway at 120mph at dawn somewhere on the plains.”

“‘Fresh Tattoo’ is the flashpoint in the story of who Jenny is and how she came to leave Texas. In it, she gets a tattoo of a shield on her arm, and, on her way home, sees a guy who needs help. This will be her last lodger, and it’s her first tattoo, and the day will prove to be decisive in her story. Listening to Matt put down the harmonies on it in Tulsa earlier this year was one of the best moments I’ve ever had in my musical life; it meant so much to make something new with him, I wouldn’t even be here without him. I’m very happy to share it with the world today.”


10/2 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern

10/3 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco

10/5 – San Francisco, CA @ August Hall

10/6 – San Francisco, CA @ August Hall – SOLD OUT

10/7 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades

10/9 – Spokane, WA @ Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox

10/10 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory

10/11 – Bozeman, MT @ The ELM

10/13 – Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre

10/14 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre

10/27 – Lubbock, TX @ Cactus Theater 

10/28 – Dallas, TX @ Longhorn Ballroom 

10/29 – Houston, TX @ Heights Theater

12/1 – Greensboro, NC @ Hangar 1819

12/2 – Wilmington, DE @ The Queen

12/3 – Portland, ME @ Aura

12/5 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground

12/6 – Hartford, CT @ Infinity Hall

12/7 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom

12/8 – Homer, NY @ Center for the Arts of Homer

12/10 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird Music Hall

12/12 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre

12/13 – Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall

12/14 – St. Petersburg, FL @ The Floridian

12/15 – Jacksonville, FL @ Intuition Ale Works