I decided a couple of weeks ago to get myself a Spotify account.  Behind the times?  Perhaps.  I decided to go Premium (they were offering a 2 month free trial and their marketing ploy has worked; I will be keeping it on I think), and I’ve been rediscovering music I haven’t listened to in years.  Ash, Feeder, Stereophonics, Manics, early Muse….all have been gracing my hears as I’ve worked over the past few days.

I’ve also been trying to listen to some new music as well.  A friend recommended The Mountain Goats to me a few weeks back, and with my Spotify trial, I could sample some of their stuff without laying down any money, dealing with You Tube, or illegally downloading it.  Yay!

When I asked about what would be a good album to start with, my friend suggested The Sunset Tree, knowing as he does that I lived with an abusive father growing up, and that’s what the core theme of the album is; John Darnielle’s formative years living with his abusive step-father.


I was very unsure going into this album because of the subject matter.  As anyone who has survived childhood abuse can probably attest to, it is an emotive subject to talk or think about.  At least, it is for me.  I was very worried about getting so upset listening to it that I’d have to stop.

But, I listened, and I am extremely pleased that I did.  Darnielle is a gifted lyricist, and his work on The Sunset Tree is powerful, moving and touching without drowning you in misery and despair for the whole piece.  It has raw, painful moments, but I don’t come away from the experience feeling overly depressed, which is quite strange but at the same time, a thing I am thankful for.  It is one of the most effective, reflective and emotive albums I think I have ever listened to.  I am pleased I listened, and I have kept listening every day since.

My favourite track?  It has to be “Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod?

I would strongly encourage a listen.