During our broadcast from the Ace Hotel NYC during CMJ last month, Colin Meloy, whose band, The Decemberists, have just announced their sixth album, The King Is Dead, performed three new songs exclusively for KEXP listeners. While the new album, to be released on January 18, features plenty of guest contributors, such as R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and singer-songwriter Gillian Welch, who both appear on the first single, “Down by the Water,” it is also said to be the band’s most stripped down and “American” in influence. Produced by former Seattle resident and now Portland-based producer Tucker Martine, The King Is Dead is The Decemberists at their most straightforward best, and so the new songs Colin Meloy played solo live at the Ace — “Down by the Water,” “June Hymn,” and “Rise to Me” — though stripped down as they may be, should still give listeners an accurate preview of what they’re going to love about the new album. Check out the videos now:
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