Unfortunately, it's not a new album (that's been promised for 2009 sometime), but the Decemberists will be releasing new material this year in the form of a 'singles series', entitled Always the Bridesmaid. This release will be in 12" Vinyl and digitally, and features music that they liked, but felt wouldn't fit on their upcoming album. Here's the release schedule:
"Valerie Plame," and "O New England"
Days of Elaine" b/w "Days of Elaine (Long)" and "I'm Sticking With You,"
"Record Year for Rainfall," b/w "Raincoat Song"
You can pre-order here (www.decemberistsshop.com) right now.
I'm pretty excited about this - I loved the Crane Wife and Picaresque (I'm still a little iffy on some of their older stuff, at least some of it) and I love that these guys are big into history. Valarie Plame refers to the CIA agent who was outed by the Bush Administration that caused a lot of fuss earlier this decade, and I'm interested to hear about O' New England, being a native and resident here myself.
Moreover, this seems like it will be a very interesting experiment in distributing music via the internet. While it's not nearly dramatic as what Radiohead has done with In Rainbows, releasing the B-sides and tracks that didn't make the cut ahead of time is something that is very new - I'm sure that it is going to generate quite a bit of hype for their upcoming LP, and I'm sure that a lot of other bands will sit up and take notice, or will at least be watching to see how this goes. It's a big band, it's organized, and they'll likely make quite a bit of money doing this, not to mention a lot of mentions in the media, which is essentially free advertising.
16 Military Wives - The Decemberists