Listen to the Civil Wars’ new song, ‘The One That Got Away’


A bit of good news for roots-music fans bummed out by Tuesday’s announcement that Mumford & Sons bassist Ted Dwane had undergone brain surgery: The Civil Wars are back with a new single.

That might surprise you, given that late last year -- following big sales of its 2011 debut, “Barton Hollow”; multiple Grammy Award wins; and a hit collaboration with Taylor Swift from the “Hunger Games” soundtrack -- the duo abruptly canceled a tour, citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.”

Yet last month the Civil Wars revealed that they’d completed a new album, and now there’s proof in the form of “The One That Got Away,” the typically dramatic lead single from “The Civil Wars,” due out Aug. 6. According to a statement, the new album was produced by Charlie Peacock, with additional production by Rick Rubin on one track.


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Then again, perhaps we shouldn’t get carried away just yet: Judging by “The One That Got Away,” not everything is heirloom peaches and artisanal cream between Joy Williams and John Paul White now. “Oh, I wish I’d never, ever seen your face,” Williams sings over hard-strummed acoustic guitar, “I wish you were the one that got away.” (Listen to the song below.)

And there’s similarly high-flown language in a statement the band released Tuesday morning, in which the new album is described as having been “recorded amidst a grueling touring schedule, exhausting workload and a growing disconnect from their families.”

So maybe we were wrong about the good news?


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Twitter: @mikaelwood