Is This New Album Proof The Decemberists Know How to Have a Good Time?
The Folk Group Prepares to Release its Country-Based ‘The King Is Dead’ Early Next Year
Written by: Karen Benardello
Indie folk rock band The Decemberists have made the right decision to reinvent themselves yet again by releasing its new album ‘The King Is Dead’ on January 18, 2011. The group’s label, Capitol Records, confirmed the news on its official website, http://www.capitolrecords.com/home/news.aspx, via a press release on November 11.
‘The King Is Dead,’ which will feature 10 country-based songs, is The Decemberists’ first release since its 2009 album ‘The Hazards of Love,’ which rightfully received acclaim for its rock edge. The group once again teamed with producer Tucker Martine, and collaborated with bluegrass singer-songwriter Gillian Welch and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck. These duets will hopefully bring out the up-beat pop and lush ballads of the group’s singer, Colin Meloy.
While Meloy has discussed how difficult it was to record the band’s previous complex records, he said “…this one (‘The King Is Dead’) may have been harder to do…It’s a real challenge to make simple music.” He added that recording the album was “an exercise in restraint.” While he has also said he somewhat missed the “epic-ness” of the group’s previous records, the new album seems destined to prove The Decemberists still know how to have a good time.
The group recorded ‘The King Is Dead’ in a converted barn at Pendarvis Farm outside of their hometown of Portland, Oregon. Meloy accurately described the recording as his own musical journey coming full circle. “Over the last eleven years or so, since I moved to Portland, I feel like I've been mining mostly English traditions for influence. I guess I've kind of come back to a lot of the more American music that got me going in the first place,” including R.E.M. and Neil Young.
To help promote the new album, The Decemberists performed the record’s lead single, ‘Down by the Water,’ on Conan O’Brien’s new TBS late-night show on November 18, two days after it was released digitally. ‘The King Is Dead’ is now available for pre-order on the band’s official website, Decemberists.com.
The track listing for ‘The King Is Dead’ is:
1. Don't Carry It All
2. Calamity Song
3. Rise to Me
4. Rox in the Box
5. January Hymn
6. Down by the Water
7. All Arise!
8. June Hymn
9. This is Why We Fight
10. Dear Avery