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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Decemberists' The King is Dead, But Were Afraid to Ask

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 7:48 AM

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Awhile back we told you what the new Decemebrists album would be called and what it sounds like, but what we didn't do was provide much info on the record itself. Let's make this right.

The King is Dead will be out on January 18 via Capitol, but can pre pre-ordered just in time for Thanksgiving on November 22nd. The recording is a change of direction for the band and is being billed as "a set of 10 concise, country-based songs" that features cameos from Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Gillian Welch.

Take it away press release quotes:

The album was recorded in a converted barn at Pendarvis Farm, an 80-acre estate of lush meadows, forest, and Mt. Hood views outside of Portland, and it was the concept of the barn—as recording space and as attitude—that informed the making of The King Is Dead. “We wanted that ethos,” he says. “That was the color we wanted the record to have.”

To Meloy, in some ways The King Is Dead also represents 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”, he says. “I guess I've kind of come back to a lot of the more American music that got me going in the first place — R.E.M. and Camper Van Beethoven and all these bands that borrowed from more American traditions like Neil Young and the Byrds.”

“Sometimes I kind of miss the epic-ness of the other albums,” he continues, “but it’s nice to get all of the information across in three minutes. It’s like going from reading a novel to reading a bunch of short stories.”

This is also the first Decemberists recording to not have a Carson Ellis-illustrated cover, instead the band opted for the more "we recorded this shit in a farm, we're totally rustic now" look. (Update: turns out that is Ellis' lettering and illustration on the cover. Our apologies.) The Decemberists will be on Conan on November 18 to perform King's first single, "Down by the Water."

Tracklisting after the jump:

End Hits: Getting back to our 'merican roots.

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

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