The Decemberists Draft Gillian Welch, Peter Buck For The King Is Dead

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The Queen died a long time ago, but Smiths devotees The Decemberists have announced that on January 18, they’ll release The King Is Dead, their sixth studio album. The new disc features roots musician and American Songwriter favorite Gillian Welch on seven of it’s 10 tracks, and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck on three. It also features the return of producer Tucker Martine, who helmed The Decemberists’ ambitious concept album The Hazards Of Love in 2009. Martine captured the band’s music in a converted barn, outside of their hometown of Portland, Oregon.

“For all my talk about how complex those [previous] records were, this one may have been harder to do,” Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy says in a statement. “It’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.”

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 continues. “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, 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.”

The King Is Dead Track List

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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  1. Will someone please inform Mr. Meloy that Neil Young is in fact, a Canadian! Having said that….love the new album, especially the early R.E.M sounds and Peter Buck’s distinctive style. A great collaboration.

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