The Decemberists’ sixth studio record, following up 2009’s Hazards of Love, will be mid-January’s “The King is Dead.” On teaser track “Down By The Water” the band keep some of the classic sea-shanty flavor they’re (in)famous for (those harmonicas! Colin Meloy’s signature wistful voice!) while working in some echo-y R.E.M.-style guitar while folk vanguard Gillian Welch provides haunting backup vocals –- it could easily be mistaken for something you might hear on college radio in 1992.
There’s a twangy, Appalachian vibe to the song: it’s something you might just barely hear through the static on the radio while you were waiting to pick up your dad in some coal mine parking lot. Listen and download the song below: