Let’s begin by dispelling the rumors: In League with Dragons, the new album out today on Merge Records from Durham-based band The Mountain Goats, is not based on the popular role-playing board game, Dungeons & Dragons. 

The album does, however, have Bizantine world-building origins, with band frontman John Darnielle describing the album’s provenance, in an interview earlier this year, as something that “began … as a rock opera about a besieged seaside community called Riversend ruled by a benevolent wizard.” The Mountain Goat’s two most recent releases were also loose concept albums: 2017 brought Goth and 2015 Beat The Champ, which was structured around the pro-wrestling champs of Darnielle’s childhood.

Right on bi-annual schedule, In League With Dragons is released and available on streaming platforms. The release is also marked by a sprawling International tour, which kicks off tonight in Washington D.C. Best of all, the tour includes local dates: the Goats will perform a free SummerStage on August 10 at East River Park