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The Decemberists Announce New Album “As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again” out 14th June via YABB Records (Thirty Tigers) & Share 19-Minute Epic “Joan In The Garden”

March 20, 2024
Holly Andres

The Decemberists Announce New Album “As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again” out 14th June via YABB Records (Thirty Tigers)

& Share 19-minute epic “Joan In The Garden”

The Decemberists have announced their new album, As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again, out 14th June via YABB Records (Thirty Tigers). The band returns with their ninth studio album after a 6 year hiatus, with a remarkable double album produced by lead-singer Colin Meloy and Tucker Martine and featuring guest appearances from The Shins’ James Mercer and REM’s Mike Mills. The album is available for pre-order here today. To mark the occasion, The Decemberists have released a new song, a 19-minute prog-rock epic titled “Joan In The Garden” 

Colin Meloy on “Joan In The Garden”: “Joan in the Garden” has been kicking around as an idea since the ‘I’ll Be Your Girl’ sessions. I got into a Joan of Arc kick after reading Lydia Yuknavitch’s beautifully batshit novel ‘The Book of Joan.’ I wanted to make my own version of Joan — but the song that came was as much about the creative process as it was about the actual woman, about angelic visitation and creative visitation and the hallucinogenic quality of both.”

Prepare for a truly incredible journey, this immense composition evolves whilst emitting this captivating energy and a wealth of emotions. This is an unmissable voyage that descends to new depths, complex and ready to leave you in awe.

As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again is not only the longest Decemberists album to date (and their first intentional, proper double-LP, split into four thematic sides) but also their most empathetic and accessible, its 13 songs like semaphores of mutual recognition for our fraught times and faint hopes. The existential slog and capitalist vexation of “The Reapers,” the opiated delusion and jumbled jingoism of “America Made Me,” the guileless tenderness and absolute surrender of “All I Want Is You”: As It Ever Was is the redemptive testament of a band finding new communal hymns by revisiting several old modes at once. This, Meloy will tell you proudly, is the best Decemberists album—perhaps even the ultimate realization of 22 years of work. As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again rings with the urgency and ardour of right now, maybe more than ever before. 

Last month, the band teased the new album with the release of the single “Burial Ground”. “The Decemberists are so back,” declared Flood Magazine. “Burial Ground revives the band’s warm, familiar folk-rock sound,” said Paste Magazine. “Frontman Colin Meloy’s buoyant vocals carry genuine eagerness and charm as he sings of graveyards over twinkling instrumentation. Loose guitar and flourishes of horns embellish the whimsical track, giving off a Beach Boys-style vibrancy.

The Decemberists will head out on an expansive North American tour with both spring and summer legs. The tour kicks off on April 30th in Kingston, NY at the Ulster Performing Arts Center and wraps up in August on the West Coast. The band will also be appearing at All Points East in London on 25th August.

For 20 years The Decemberists have been one of the most original, daring, and thrilling American rock bands. Founded in the year 2000 when singer, songwriter, and guitarist Colin Meloy moved from Montana to Portland, Oregon and met bassist Nate Query, keyboardist Jenny Conlee, and guitarist Chris Funk, The Decemberists’ distinctive brand of hyperliterate folk-rock set them apart from the start with the release of their debut EP 5 Songs in 2001. After making their full-length debut with Castaways and Cutouts in 2002, the band signed with Kill Rock Stars for the release of the acclaimed albums Her Majesty the Decemberists (2003) and Picaresque (2005), which was produced by Chris Walla. The 2004 EP The Tain – an 18-minute single-track epic – made the band’s grand creative ambitions clear.

Around this time the band’s permanent line-up fell into place with the arrival of drummer John Moen, and they made the unexpected leap to Capitol Records for their first major label album in 2006. Fans’ concerns of whether the band would alter their trademark sound quickly vanished when they delivered their most ambitious and audacious record to date in The Crane Wife, a song cycle produced by Walla and Tucker Martine (who would become a longtime creative partner) that added elements of ‘70s prog, hard rock and even quasi-disco to their palette. The album was met by wide acclaim from The New York TimesRolling StoneSPINStereogum, and was named Best New Music by Pitchfork.

Three years later, The Hazards of Love – a full-length concept album based on Meloy’s idea for a stage musical – was a Top 20 hit. In 2011, they topped themselves yet again with their first #1 album, The King Is Dead, which featured the GRAMMY-nominated song “Down By The Water.” After their 2015 album What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World, which included the #1 AAA radio hit “Make You Better,” The Decemberists changed up their sound and explored new approaches to making music on their eighth studio album I’ll Be Your Girl (2018) with producer John Congleton. NPR Music wrote “Every band needs to refresh and reconsider its sound sooner or later, no matter how sharp it’s gotten over the course of a long career — even The Decemberists, a band whose records have always come bursting with verve… I’ll Be Your Girl captures a collaborative spirit that keeps the band sounding vibrant and alive.”

The Decemberists have toured the world, performed at countless major festivals, and even founded Travelers’ Rest, a festival of their own curation in Missoula, Montana. The band has appeared on The Simpsons, collaborated with Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, and released their own crowd-funded board game Illimat. Colin Meloy is also the author of The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid and the New York Times bestselling Wildwood Chronicles as well as two picture books, The Golden Thread: A Song for Pete Seeger and Everyone’s Awake. Meloy’s Wildwood Series is currently being made into an animated feature starring Carey Mulligan, Mahershela Ali, Angela Bassett, Jermaine Clement, Tom Waits and more.

1. Burial Ground

2. Oh No!

3. The Reapers

4. Long White Veil

5. William Fitzwilliam

6. Don’t Go to the Woods

7. The Black Maria

8. All I Want Is You

9. Born to the Morning

10. America Made Me

11. Tell Me What’s on Your Mind

12. Never Satisfied

13. Joan In The Garden

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