John Darnielle and Franklin Bruno return with free song from new Extra Lens LP

A songwriter as prolific as the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle is bound to pen a few tunes that don’t fit the rest of his work. For Darnielle, those songs — the ones “that had a) more than three chords or b) a bridge,” in the words of Merge Records — became fodder for the Extra Lens, his project with Franklin Bruno of Nothing Painted Blue and the Human Hearts.

Eight years after their last LP, when they were still known as the Extra Glenns, Darnielle and Bruno essentially double their recorded output with a new album on Merge. Due Oct. 19, “Undercard” was actually a full-on songwriting collaboration, with Darnielle on guitar and vocals and Bruno handling the rest of the musical arrangements.

They arrived at a spare sound on “Only Existing Footage,” the free song. It opens with a distant thudding sound and unstructured, jangling electric guitar, which cascades here and there behind Darnielle’s voice and acoustic guitar.

Only Existing Footage mp3

Photo by Max S. Gerber, mp3 courtesy of Merge.

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