Featured Album

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
Listen Live

The Decemberists - The King Is Dead - Capitol

Coming off their expansive rock-opera, The Hazards of Love, the Portland-based band The Decemberists return to form on their new album The King Is Dead From the opening Springsteen-esque harmonica riff of the album leadoff “Don’t Carry It All,” it’s apparent that there’s different tone and atmosphere set for this collection.

As a songwriter and wordsmith, Colin Meloy is the opposite of ordinary. His literary prowess is a trademark of the band, yet on The Hazards of Love he and his band mates chartered into challenging territory. It’s easy to applaud the ambition, but what was sorely missed was the accessibility. And that’s where The King Is Dead succeeds. Without abandoning their folk-rock roots, or Meloy’s clever narratives, the band offer up an earthy, concise collection of sing-along’s that is pure ear candy. Songs like the jangly “Rox in the Box” and the more alternative leaning “This Is Why We Fight” sound like quintessential Decemberists anthems.

Another unavoidable truth and impact on The King Is Dead is the influence of R.E.M. Much due in part to admiration, but also the literal presence of guitarist Peter Buck on a number of songs including “Down By The Water” (which also features Gillian Welch) and the irresistible, “Calamity Song.” The King Is Dead might be The Decemberists most full-realized album to date, and song for song it’s arguably their best.

Buy it Now!

Your Amazon Purchases Support WXPN

Revisit Band of Horses’ acoustic show at The Merriam; get amped for their plugged-in show at...

Back in February, XPoNential Music Festival headliners Band of Horses went unplugged on the stage of the Merriam Theater, which was...Read More

Daniel Rossen mixes new and old in rare solo show at Underground Arts

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Rossen played a solo, seated show at Underground Arts on Monday. Best known for his...Read More

Goodnight Lights throw a house party for four in their “Convinced” video

It’s like the crash after a long night of throwing back Lagers and oily pepperoni pizza and wondering where the rest of your...Read More

A resurrected Veruca Salt will rock the TLA with its original lineup on July 22nd

All four original members of Nineties alternative rock band Veruca Salt have reunited, are releasing two new songs this Saturday on...Read More

Natalie Merchant headlining the TLA with a new album in tow on June 11th

Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant, who recently recorded a World Cafe session during WXPN’s Big Day Out event, is playing the...Read More