The Decemberists

Long Live the King

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Long Live the King, a six-track EP recorded around the same time as the R.E.M.-inspired King Is Dead, opens with “E. Watson,” a spare, moody tale of a sugar cane plantation owner named Edgar Watson, which couldn’t be further from the sunny rural folk jamboree glow that permeated the band's 2011 full-length. That said, the rest of the EP, outside of the brooding “Burying Davy,” leans closer to that countrified feel, and while it may come off a little contrived at times (Colin Meloy's nasally, faux-British croon stands out like vegan pork gravy on a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Row Jimmy”), these outtakes will no doubt help to satiate fans until the group reconvenes for album number seven.

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