Wednesday, December 10, 2008
As we wind down the year with countless best of lists and recollections of the year in song it’s encouraging to see a steady stream of artists announcing plans to release new music for 2009. One of my personal favourites, The Decemberists just announced that they will return with another epic, story-driven album next spring in the form of Hazards of Love, due March 24th from the folks at Capitol.
The narrative this time around concerns the trials and tribulations of Margaret, her lover William, the queen of a spooky forest and a rake who interferes in it all. The 17-track piece was tied together with instrumental interludes under the direction of producer Tucker Martine.
What makes this release particularly appealing are the guest musicians featured on several songs. Among the guests on the album are My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Robyn Hitchcock, the Spinanes' Rebecca Gates, Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden. Very, very exciting stuff.
Hazards of Love is the follow-up to the band's major-label debut, 2006's The Crane Wife, which has sold a career-best 284,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
As I had written earlier, The Decemberists last week completed a three-volume singles series, Always the Bridesmaid, featuring songs the band "really loved but presciently felt they would not fit" on Hazards of Love.
Start saving your shekels now
The track list for Hazards of Love:
Hazards Of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
A Bower Scene
Won't Want For Love (Margaret In The Taiga)
Hazards Of Love 2 (Wager All)
The Queen's Approach
Isn't It A Lovely Night?
The Wanting Comes In Waves / Repaid
The Rake's Song
The Abduction Of Margaret
The Queen's Rebuke / The Crossing
Margaret In Captivity
Hazards Of Love 3 (Revenge!)
The Wanting Comes In Waves" (Reprise)
The Hazards Of Love 4 (The Drowned)