Pray to the Goat Gods: Ritualistic Masks and Swedish Party Music

The Swedish band Goat are from a small village and perform in masks. Get familiar.
By    August 5, 2015


Peter Holslin was a rhinoceros in a past life

Goats are some of the finest beasts Planet Earth has ever known. Across the globe they are cherished for their milk, their meat, and their highly efficient grazing/fertilizing abilities. They’re smart, cute, and incredibly agile, and so you’d be making a pretty bold claim to greatness if you decided to name your band after these rectangle-pupiled miracle creatures. But the band Goat is, in fact, pretty kick ass. Originally hailing from a small village in Sweden, they spiral outwards and touch on sounds from various cultures—American funk, British space rock, Saharan desert blues, Jamaican reggae—while showing incredible chops with their scorching blazes of psychedelia.

Some might dismiss Goat as a bunch of naïve cultural appropriators, but they make for a potent outfit, in no small part thanks to the contributions of a female lead singer who belts out melodies in raspy harmony and performs with another singer onstage in elaborate, ritualistic masks. However, on new song “It’s Time for Fun” the band dials down both the intense mood and the genre-borrowing. They recently returned to their home village of Korpilombolo to regroup, and here they eke out a low-key groove anchored by an oddly pulsing organ and an old school drum machine that could’ve come straight from a Neu! record circa 1975.

The song is inexplicably steamy, and I’m intrigued by the party-oriented lyrics. It seems Goat might be trying to make some kind of commentary, asking us all to take off our clothes, put down our guns and have some fun. Not a bad idea at all. The full 7” comes out Sept. 25 via Sub Pop.


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