The Decemberists have christened their new album â€œThe King Is Deadâ€ and are preparing for a Jan 18 release for the new year.
Colin Meloy and company have crafted 10 â€œcountry basedâ€ songs, and have the help of a true country voice: Gillian Welch
will be featured on seven songs. Legendary R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck is also on for three, and the two artists may even help out with the chamber-pop/rock bandâ€™s next big gig: theyâ€™ll be taking the stage on â€œConan
â€ on Nov. 18.
A press release calls the set â€œconcise,â€ and â€œsimple, stripped-downâ€ which isnâ€™t exactly what the bandâ€™s last effort was: at 17-tracks, â€œThe Hazards of Loveâ€ was what frontman Meloy called a â€œsuite,â€ around the same fantastical concept.
â€œFor all my talk about how complex those records were, this one may have been harder to do,â€ Meloy said in a statement. â€œItâ€™s a real challenge to make simple music, and lot of times we had to deliberately hold off and keep more space. This record is an exercise in restraint.â€
The sounds was also influenced by locale. The band recorded and wrote from a converted barn on â€œPendarvis Farm, an 80-acre estate of lush meadows, forest, and Mt. Hood views outside of Portland [Ore.].â€
â€œOver 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 â€“ R.E.M. and Camper Van Beethoven and all these bands that borrowed from more American traditions like Neil Young and the Byrds,â€ he said. â€œSometimes I kind of miss the epic-ness of the other albums, but itâ€™s nice to get all of the information across in three minutes. Itâ€™s like going from reading a novel to reading a bunch of short stories.â€
The leading single is called â€œDown By the Water,â€ to be released digitally on Nov. 16. Pre-order for the album starts Nov. 22.
Here is the tracklist for â€œThe King Is Deadâ€:
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