Some people enjoy The Mountain Goats for their lofi work, some listen for the shameless anger of tracks like “Foreign Object” and some are fans who are there for it all. I like a lot of what The Mountain Goats put out, but their love songs are especially potent to me. Let’s explore some of my favorites.
“Love Love Love”
The message at the core of the song also happens to be my favorite iteration of the song’s chorus: “Some things you do for money and some you do for fun / But the things you do for love are gonna come back to you one by one.” A hopeful song that serves as a bright spot on the emotionally-intense “The Sunset Tree,” “Love Love Love” is a beautiful testament to the grandiose and minute ways that love shows itself to us in everyday life.
A wonderfully tender and intimate song, “Animal Mask” paints a picture of doing anything to protect your loved ones. John Darnielle almost-whispers “Some things you will remember/ Some things stay sweet forever” in the chorus. The song could be a lullaby if stripped down to just the guitar.
“Riches and Wonders”
The lyrics to this track read like a love letter or a manifesto. For the Mountain Goats, love is finding home in another person in “Riches and Wonders.” Nothing could be more romantic than having a dream life with everything you want and more alongside the person you love most: “We are filled with riches and wonders / Our love keeps the things it finds.”
“Twin Human Highway Flares”
This song paints a singular scene of driving to a motel with a lover. It describes an all-consuming and explosive kind of love. A passionate, fleeting, loud and large kind of love. A kind of love that makes all other loves feel small and pointless. The song closes with the profound statement: “On the day that I forget you / I hope my heart explodes.”
John Darnielle knows how to tap into all kinds of love. He wrote the single greatest lyric of all time in “Hair Match” (a song that I wouldn’t even consider romantic): “I loved you before I even ever knew what love was like.” These are just four of my favorites, but trust that for every The Mountain Goats song that makes you want to fight your lifelong enemy, there’s a song that will make you want to hold your loved ones close.