The Decemberists know what month it is, and whose. Colin Meloy and company’s sixth album, 2011′s The King Is Dead, was the satisfied product of a band that sounded like it had realized its strengths: tuneful, wordy, jingle-jangling poignance. The two tracks shared so far from the upcoming follow-up, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (with a January 20 U.S. release date via Capitol), again suggest a band that’s, how do you say, comfortable in its own epidermis.
The latest is “Lake Song,” which pairs organic, piano-centered warmth reminiscent of Nick Drake’s “Northern Sky” with Meloy’s thoughtful, Morrissey-descended lyricism; “The sun burned through / Sweet as honeydew,” he sings, in a particularly evocative turn of phrase. The song, which the band has previously played live, follows the similarly relaxed, confident “Make You Better,” which recently received a video co-starring Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman. Tattered, tethered, sibylline, these are the Decemberists, and they wear their well-established traits far more gracefully than Offerman’s hilarious awful accent in the video.
Watch the band hit the studio in the lyric video for “Lake Song” below.