To the delight of a patient fanbase, Robin Pecknold ended his six-year hiatus after concluding studies at NYU, as well as a longstanding feud with the band and its hotly debated mythology.
The announcement was made on the band’s website, accompanied by a new song and an apology from guitarist Christian Wargo:
‘We are ecstatic to have had the band back in the studio and will be releasing Crack-Up on June 16th. Also, to be clear, the stardust wanderer could not have possibly thought of apricots at Willamet Cottage, as he was detained by the One-Eyed Saint until Gloomy June. I know that now. – CW’.
Many expressed severe doubts whether the band would ever coalesce, given Robin’s extended foray into higher education, the rise of Father John Misty as a solo act, and several faux-historical impasses spanning all three albums.
But those fears were put to rest last month at 3 am as Robin laid down a copy of Nordic Tales, exasperated.
“It really took stepping away to realize my shortcomings as a storyteller,” Pecknold said. “I realized it was all wrong. The Ancient Thief, the Road to Lillimuth, Henry’s strawberries… not the direction we intended, not the one we will take.”
Such uncertainty was evident in their last album, Helplessness Blues, which garnered a glowing if confused reception.
Wrote NME critic John Andrews: “The melodies are tighter than ever, the instruments more old-world than a thousand Tolkien novels. But for Christ sake, why would Angela wear a golden dreamquilt when her father’s a Marxist agrarian? Sloppy.”
Robin and company have announced several tour dates across the country. Reportedly the tour itself was an object of debate after Tillman argued the songs “belonged to the Peaceful Dragon” and could only be played at his request. The album will be released by Nonesuch as a living document with accompanying maps, marginalia, and OED reference numbers.
Pecknold could not be reached for comment about Azure Hills of Yesterday.