As you may or may not know, The Decemberists are taking a long hiatus. Their accordionist, Jenny Conlee (also organist, pianist, melodica player, and general bad-ass) has been in treatment for Breast Cancer (it’s in remission!), Colin Meloy is writing children’s books, and Chris Funk, Nate Query, and Conlee all have another band, Black Prairie, to attend to. These are all valid reasons to take some time but I was still feeling pretty low imagining time spent without my favorite band around. That is until I learned that they have a new EP.
Long Live The King consists of five tracks that didn’t quite make the cut for the band’s most recent album, The King is Dead. Out this week, the EP is a welcome morsel to help Decemberists fans get through this indefinite break. The first track, E. Watson is starkly simple with guitar the only accompaniment and harmonies from Laura Veirs and Annalisa Tornfelt. This is an usually stripped down arrangement but it’s a pleasant change. And as always Colin Meloy has a strange and compelling tale to tell.
If you need some other tasty Decemberists offerings to get you through the dry spell, check out their recent video for “Calamity Song.” Directed by Michael Schur (of Parks and Recreation) the video portrays the game, Eschaton from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. (shown above) Also you should read Meloy’s new book Wildwood or listen to Black Prairie. We can get through this, I promise.