In 2011, The King Is Dead (Capitol Records) earned The Decemberists their first No. 1 album, debuting in the top spot on the Billboard 200. Four years later, the indie-folk band from Portland, Ore., returns with its seventh full-length LP, What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World (Capitol Records, Jan. 2015).
In the band bio, frontman Colin Meloy talks about working on the new album: "There's something very freeing about working on music with absolutely no agenda and just letting the songs become themselves. In some ways this album was four years in the making. We were on hiatus, so we had all the time we could want—no schedule, no tours, no expectations."
That freedom resulted in What A, an inspired album of lush, folksy ballads laced with narrative tales in a way that is somewhat new, yet is still quintessentially The Decemberists. It will be exciting to see what the band does with this evolved sound live.
P.S. If you like Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), watch the video for "Make You Better" from What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World below.