A plump, flaxen-haired Briton was once moved to ask the world, “Who knows where the time goes?” She did not live to see this question answered. Indeed, it’s likely that none of us will. It’s more of a rhetorical question, anyway. But it’s one that invites reflection as we, The Decemberists, get ready to heave unto the world our latest concoction of songs. Instruments were played, vocal cords strained, and many a New Seasons sandwich was consumed in inclement weather, despite it being late spring. In the end, a full LP-worth of songs was collated to make a record.
I suppose you’d like to know the title of the record and when it comes out, this new offering of Decemberist songs. Well, wait no longer: the record will be called The King Is Dead and will be available on January 18th, 2011. That’s 1/18/11. If you take away the slashes, that reads 11811. What does that mean? Must you ask? Clearly it is a snowman surrounded by a colonnade of waving banners.
But this is obviously a snowman of no small importance. Perhaps he is the king of the snowmen, returned from far afield to reclaim his rightful mantle, which had been usurped by some lesser snowmen and women. Or maybe he’s been laid in state, which would give this oblique album title the slightest tinge of a greater meaning, rather than being just something artful someone thought up, which is the fashion nowdays.
Anyway, here’s the tracklisting.
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
And, since you are one of the kindly multitude that number yourselves among the Mailing List Recipients, we’d like to invite you to download NOW and FREE OF CHARGE one of these songs. The number entitled “Down by the Water” is available via our website,www.decemberists.com. The illustrious Mr Peter Buck (Nigel & the Crosses, Hindu Love Gods) lent his not-inconsiderable 12 string guitar talents as did Gillian Welch (actress, O Brother Where Art Thou) lend her lovely vocal harmonies.
Listen. Enjoy. And, more importantly, VOTE! Find your local polling station here.