Tag Archive: The Decemberists


Over the last few months, there have been rumors going around that The Decemberists might be calling it quits. The talks were mostly sparked by front man Colin Meloy mentioning a “long hiatus” in an interview, and the fact that the band will be taking some time off after finishing their current tour. However, he silenced all speculation by assuring that the band has no plans to split up.

Speaking to the Associated Press this weekend while at Bonnaroo, Meloy was quick to deny the rumors, saying “With this record I feel we have a whole world in front of us with plenty of options and I’m excited to continue writing music for The Decemberists and performing with The Decemberists.”

The sudden news that accordian player and keyboardist Jenny Conlee had been diagnosed with breast cancer early last month has, no doubt, contributed to the band having to adjust their plans. While the band will play as scheduled without Conlee for most or the rest of their tour, which include a return to Stubb’s in Austin on August 8, they have no plans to hit the road this fall.

Instead, Meloy will be promoting the young adult novel “Wildwood,” which he wrote in collaboration with his wife, artist Carson Ellis. He also plans to spend more time at home with his family and work on other creative projects. Several of the band’s other members, including Conlee, guitarist Chris Funk, and bassist Nate Query will continue to write new material with their bluegrass project Black Prarie during the time off.

These breakup rumors never seemed entirely believable for several reasons. First, the band is still only a few months removed from debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 with The King Is Dead. It is very hard to think that the group, or any band for that matter, would fold at the height of their popularity. Secondly, there have been no tensions between band members, or any other external forces besides Conlee’s cancer, that would warrant a breakup. The Decemberists are easily one of the most tight knit groups out there, largely keeping the same roster for the 10 plus years they’ve been together. Additionally, the band sounded in top form when they played Stubb’s at the end of April, so any sort of speculation that the band had lost their vitality was out of the question.

In the end, though, it’s good to know that the band will get some much needed rest after what has been a whirlwind year. The King Is Dead was another great outing for them, and it gained them an even larger following than many of their longtime fans could have ever hoped for. Besides, the band has taken long breaks between albums before, so I think it’s safe to say that most will be willing to wait until they announce a follow up.

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Today, two of the last decade’s most influential and critically acclaimed groups announced that they have new albums coming out early next year.

On Sunday, Consequence of Sound reported that The Decemberists will be releasing a new album entitled The King Is Dead on Capital Records. Pitchfork confirmed today that the album will arrive on store shelves January 18. Both articles mention that this new album is heavily influenced by R.E.M. That band’s guitarist, Peter Buck, contributed in part to some of the album’s tracks. Though the band has played several of the songs from the new album live, they have offered the official studio version of “Down By The Water” as a free download on their website in exchange for an email address. After the hit or miss reception of last year’s full-on rock opera, The Hazards of Love, the band plan to make this album a more traditional affair. If this means another Picaresque, I will be more than satisfied.

The tracklist is below:

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

On top of that, Spin reported that Australian electro-pop outfit Cut Copy will be releasing their new album, entitled Zonoscope, on February 8. This will be the band’s first release since 2008’s near universally acclaimed In Ghost Colours, the album that elevated them from also-rans into the upper echelons of their genre. The Spin article says that the group recorded the new album in a Melbourne warehouse, with band member Tim Hoey explaining that  “We have created this new world with this record.”  While a tracklist has not been made available, the band were kind enough to release the amazing cover art for the album, which Hoey says inspired the band’s sound. It is posted below in all it’s glory via Spin.

With these announcements, 2011 can’t come soon enough. Here’s hoping more bands reveal their new projects before year’s end. I wonder how The Avalanches have been doing lately…