As they prepare to release 'Mirage Rock' on Sept. 18, Band of Horses have released a new track from the album called 'Slow Cruel Hands of Time,' a departure from the up-tempo energy of the album's lead single, 'Knock Knock.'

You might expect a song called 'Slow Cruel Hands of Time' to be a depressing ballad. And you'd be right. But Band of Horses have a way of making depressing ballads palatable. A somber acoustic guitar melody is deftly paired with nostalgic lyrics and Ben Bridwell's delicate voice.

"The slow, cruel hands of time / Turn you into molten lava, oh my," Bridwell and company sing. The entire song after the first verse is built around gorgeous harmonies, until Bridwell ends the track with a solo lyric that takes the original metaphor in a different direction: "The slow, cruel hands of time / Turning you back into a child."

Band of Horses have made a big deal about the fact that 'Mirage Rock' was recorded mostly live in the studio with minimal overdubs. In behind-the-scenes footage from the recording of 'Slow Cruel Hands,' they even discuss embracing the flaws in the music. But there aren't many flaws to be heard on this one.

The first opportunity to hear the song live may come on Sept. 17, when the band performs on the 'Live With Letterman' performance series, one day before 'Mirage Rock' arrives at retailers.

Listen to Band of Horses' 'Slow Cruel Hands of Time'