"Here we come to a turning of the season," Colin Meloy declares over a bluesy harmonica riff which opens WTMD's new CD of the Week, The King is Dead.
It's an organic, straightforward return for this Portland, Oregon band, whose ambitious The Hazards of Love, featured a hard-to-digest plot line and cast of characters. The Decemberists new salt of the earth songs come courtesy of the comfortingly familiar, Fables of the Reconstruction-era guitar and mandolin of REM's Peter Buck, some sweet steel guitar from multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk and the ghostly Appalachian background vocals of Gillian Welch, who sings on most of the album's ten tracks.
A serene, seasonally-themed album that sees Meloy mining American roots influences rather than his usual English folk muse, The Decemberists' The King is Dead makes the first, "now top that!" statement in 2011. Listen this week on WTMD to hear more!