Early Decemberists–Down by the Water

Nov 3rd, 2010 in Music

One of our historically-favored indie bands, The Decemberists, has announced the release of their next record, “The King is Dead,” on January 18th.  We hope it’s a vast improvement over their last record, “The Hazards of Love,” which bored us to tears (save a couple of songs) and went straight to the dustbin (said with that faux-British accent adopted on song by American bandleader, Colin Meloy).  The title of the new record has fueled speculation that it’s an allusion/homage to the great Smiths record, “The Queen is Dead.”  We shall see, though it hasn’t hurt that Meloy has been covering Smiths songs live recently.

Down By The Water is the first sampling of the imminent record, and if it is any indication, “The King is Dead” could be a resounding return to regality.  The great Gillian Welch meshes perfectly on the song, as does R.E.M.’s Peter Buck on 12 string.  Sounding very R.E.M-ish (circa “Document”), we love the added harmonica and overtones.

We hope that “The King is Dead” brings the band back to its prior creative heights (like on “Picaresque”) and avoids the nadir of Hazards of Love.  The track list for ‘The King is Dead’ is tentatively as follows:

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’

Check out Down by the Water below, along with We Both Go Down Together off “Picaresque” and Bridges & Balloons, a cover of the great Joanna Newsom’s song that was included in the 2005 Believer Magazine Covers Issue.

The Decemberists–Down by the Water

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/The-Decemberists-Down-By-The-Water.mp3|titles=The Decemberists — Down By The Water]

The Decemberists–We Both Go Down Together

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/02-We-Both-Go-Down-Together.mp3|titles=02 We Both Go Down Together]

The Decemberists–Bridges & Balloons

[audio:http://www.thelefortreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/01-Bridges-Balloons.mp3|titles=01 Bridges & Balloons]


  • The Decemberists will be playing Conan on TBS on Thursday 11/18 where they will be joined on stage by none other than the inimitable Gillian Welch.

  • Guilty, Sinatra. How was today’s Giants parade? Jealous not to be there.

  • Oh my: ““The King is Dead” could be a resounding return to regality.” Really, Lefort, you just couldn’t help yourself on that one, huh…?

    I’m a big fan of the Decemberists too. I recently created a ‘station’ on http://www.pandora.com giving the Music Genome Project just ‘Decemberists’ as its only clue re what I was looking for, and have enjoyed much of what it spews forth as a result.

    /treads carefully in snow, avoiding footstep predators


Comments have been closed for this post.