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The Decemberists Announce A New Album — And Share The Synth-Driven 'Severed'

The Decemberists' new album, <em>I'll Be Your Girl</em>, comes out March 16.
Holly Andres
The Decemberists' new album, I'll Be Your Girl, comes out March 16.

When The Decemberists release I'll Be Your Girl on March 16, it'll be the band's eighth album — part of a 17-year career that's taken listeners through everything from wry folk to ambitious rock opera. If I'll Be Your Girl's first single is any indication, Colin Meloy and his band have used their new record as an opportunity to try new things and hit a few reset buttons along the way.

"Severed" is marked immediately by an ominous synth line, which sets the tone for a seething song that meets somewhere between electro-pop and stirring, churning rock. To make I'll Be Your Girl, The Decemberists turned to producer John Congleton, whose style invites experimentation and a busy sonic palette, and that creative ambition shines through in "Severed."

As Meloy unleashes a string of threats and foreboding boasts — "I alone am the answer / I alone will make wrongs right" — "Severed" seems to operate within a world of tyranny and existential dread. Whether the rest of I'll Be Your Girl follows its lead remains to be seen as more songs roll out in the coming months.

I'll Be Your Girlcomes out March 16 via .

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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