The Decemberists have announced they have an album en route to follow up 2011’s The King is Dead. The album will be called What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. To deliver the album news, Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, sent out a Tweet today: “Hi NYers! I’ll be the bearded and bespectacled guy at Bedford & 7th, busking new Decemberists songs. 11:30. Like, in 40 min. Come on by!”
Sure enough, he showed up in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood today to perform beneath a large painted mural of the upcoming album’s artwork. Meloy played a new song, “Make You Better,” as well as one off of the band’s 2005 album, Picaresque, called “The Engine Driver.”
Many people responded to the surprise show on Instagram. “Well to say this was a pleasant surprise would be the understatement of the century,” said one fan. The new album will be the band’s seventh full-length studio album. No date has been set for the release.
Rumors of a new album had been swirling since last November when Meloy revealed, “I’m starting to dabble with [new] Decemberists stuff. We’ve been hanging out, and I’ve been writing new material specifically for the band, so I expect sometime in the fairly near future that there will be a Decemberists record.” In April, Meloy, while on a solo tour, played another new song called,“Carolina Low.”
Meloy has been busy. Along with touring solo and working on the new Decemberists album, he and wife, Carson Ellis, have added the third and final book to their Wildwood Chronicles trilogy. Ellis, who does the illustrations for the books as well as the Decemberists’ album art, has been creating these children’s books with Meloy since 2011. The first book in the series is called, Wildwood. The second, Under Wildwood, is an indie bestseller. The final book in the trilogy is called, Wildwood Imperium. It came out last February.
At this time, we do not know any further details about What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. But keep your eyes on the Twitter and an ear to the ground, because (apparently) you never know when Colin Meloy will show up and start playing new songs.