Skip to content

First Listen: The Decemberists


The last time we heard from the Decemberists, bandleader/songwriter Colin Meloy discussed the group’s singles collection, Always the Bridesmaid, and its dark, lovelorn ballad “Record Year.” But now “The Rake’s Song,”, the first song from the band’s upcoming album, The Hazards of Love (out March 24), is available for free download.

The story of an immoral 18th century jerk, “Rake” features supporting vocals from My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden and Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark (what’s with all the Diamonds?). Meloy’s indignant vocals float over an acoustic-guitar melody and pounding drums that feel as rooted in grunge as they are in British folk.

The track is available for free download at the Decemberists’ official site (in exchange for your e-mail address). Snag it, then offer your thoughts in the comments section below.