Jesse Jarnow

“wait for you” – the mountain goats

“Wait For You” – The Mountain Goats (download here)
from Babylon Springs EP (2006)
released by 4AD (buy)

(file expires on August 4th)

The closer from the Australia/iTunes-only Babylon Springs EP, “Wait For You” is a quiet John Darnielle gem. Instead of the lighter-and-liter full-band arrangements Darnielle has favored lately (including the other tracks of the EP), “Wait For You” opts for the straight-up acoustic guitar/bass of the Mountain Goats’ live gigs. Done right, the guitar/bass combo is one of my favorite sounds in the world, warm and rich, and part of what makes a lot of Blood on the Tracks such a joy for me.

Here, Darnielle whispers his narrative with all authority. “When it came time to wait for you, I took the bus to Malibu,” he begins, simultaneously precise (bus, Malibu) and vague (you? wait?). The chorus hook is gorgeous, its combination of image (“and a rainbow in the west wrapped its coils around the earth like a serpent”) and delivery (quieter and quieter and quieter) making for a little moment of transcendence.


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