The Decemberists – “Once In My Life”

Remember back in January when the Decemberists announced they were going synth-pop? That wasn’t a joke. Two months have passed since we first published details of I’ll Be Your Girl and shared its lead single, “Severed,” and Portland’s leading literary folk-rockers are still moving forward with their new album. They’re even sharing a second advance single tonight ahead of the project’s release next week.

Now, is it a bit of an overstatement to call I’ll Be Your Girl a synth-pop album? Perhaps. The opening seconds of the opening track, “Once In My Life” — which happens to be the new single available below for your consumption — find Colin Meloy strumming his acoustic guitar and singing in typically erudite fashion. It sounds like the Decemberists we’ve always known.

But wait! Don’t close the book. (I like to imagine if you are a Decemberists fan you print out all internet content and bind it into a leather-bound tome before reading.) Believe you me, the synthesizers are coming. They will soon be raining down. The promise of a synth-pop Decemberists album will not go unfulfilled. And I’m happy to report that, at least in the case of “Once In My Life,” the admixture of What They’ve Always Done with What They’re Trying Now is… pretty good! Below, see if you agree.

I’ll Be Your Girl is out 3/16 on Capitol. Pre-order the deluxe “exploded version” here.