View Full Version : The Decemberists

Snow White
11-02-2010, 06:55 PM
The Decemberists don't have their own thread? That must be remedied! (And apologies if I somehow missed it...)

Apparently they have a new album coming out in January called The King is Dead and they're giving away a new track today: http://www.decemberists.com

11-03-2010, 01:05 PM
I've been listening a lot to The Hazards of Love lately. I'll make sure to listen to The King is Dead on January :)

11-03-2010, 09:54 PM

Excellent band and fantastic to see live!

12-18-2010, 06:46 AM
'Tis leaked, and very good! I liked some tracks from the last album, but this one is much more in my wheelhouse.

12-19-2010, 12:06 AM
Good god, is this a country album? WHY?

12-19-2010, 12:32 AM
Because a little Gillian Welch makes everything better?

12-19-2010, 12:33 AM
If you're into milking cows, probably.

12-19-2010, 12:41 AM
I freakin' love Gillian Welch! :D

12-19-2010, 01:05 AM
I quite like the new album! I've listened to it three times already- it helps that it's so short. It endears itself rather than overstaying its welcome.

12-21-2010, 09:00 AM
I think this album is going to make me go from being a casual fan of the Decemberists to being a super-fan. I've listened to it twice just today and love almost all of it (notable exceptions: Rox In The Box and All Arise!). As of right now, my favorites are Rise To Me, This Is Why We Fight, and January Hymn.

I've never seen them live, but have heard good things. I'm going to explore their discography a little more and then figure out how many of the NYC shows I'm going to, but is anyone else planning on going to the 3 shows at the Beacon?

12-21-2010, 01:22 PM
Oh man I actually love Rox In The Box; the intro is awesome. But yeah, the whole album has made me a fan for sure. Plus Sara Watkins is touring with them! (Although I'm not sure about the States, I know she's doing Australia). I wonder if she'll be doing the Gillian Welch parts on tour?

12-21-2010, 01:23 PM
I've never seen them live, but have heard good things. I'm going to explore their discography a little more and then figure out how many of the NYC shows I'm going to, but is anyone else planning on going to the 3 shows at the Beacon?

They are fantastic live! :D

01-13-2011, 11:40 PM
I've been on a Decemberists binge lately, but I haven't heard the new album. I thought it wasn't released yet... hmmm.
Gotta say, though... Tarkio > The Decemberists.

Maybe it's because I heard Tarkio before I heard The Decemberists, maybe it's because Tarkio is from my hometown, or maybe it's because Tarkio is from before Colin Meloy became a FREAKIN' SELLOUT (Just kidding :)), but I just find them better overall. For those of you who haven't heard Colin Meloy's old band from Montana, you should definitely check them out.

01-20-2011, 08:07 PM
The King Is Dead was waiting for me on my doormat when I got home from work this evening. Giving it a spin now. :)

Peter Z
01-20-2011, 09:23 PM
I thought Sara Watkins was extremely weak in doing the Gillian Welch parts yesterday during the NPR broadcast of the band playing the entire album live on OPB Portland. Did anyone else see the show?

Also, I don't get why the media is trying to spin the Hazards of Love as a bloated, ill-advised side project. I think it's far superior to The King is Dead-- I'd even go so far to say it's their best album, hands down. Also, that tour was absolutely incredible. It was nice to hear Colin talk about how great it was to play the album in its entirety for 9 months-- something akin to acting in a play. I found the energy palpable and invigorating. I don't know if this tour will be able to top it... we'll see! I'm excited to see the stuff I haven't seen before, since they debuted half the album on the Hazards tour.

01-21-2011, 12:23 AM
Didn't catch the broadcast, but it's a shame if Sara isn't fitting in. I love her more than anything, but I will admit she's a very different voice than Gillian Welch. Hopefully she'll blend better as the tour goes on.

I love The King Is Dead and think it edges Hazards a bit. It's much more concise, less repetition, and Gillian Welch genuinely adds something great to the mix. I'm tempted for the first time to catch them stateside.

Peter Z
01-21-2011, 01:28 AM
I take full bias knowing that seeing Hazards of Love made the album completely come alive for me, because for me the whole thing is pregnant with SO. MUCH. GOING ON that when it was done on stage it just.... made sense. The repetition was welcome because it brought back the key themes, the band was incredibly tight and Shara and Becky were brilliant on guest vocals. I ended up seeing 5 shows that tour because I was so blown away. Not once did I get tired during the performances... and before that I hadn't really found my way into the album. After that, though, it quickly became my favorite Decemberists album.

The King is Dead is really, really strong. It is certainly falling in as my second favorite of theirs... but there is just a little bit missing for me. I can't quite put my finger on it.

01-21-2011, 02:03 AM
Chloe played me 'Rox in the Box' last week and it piqued my curiosity enough to check out the rest of the album and I really enjoy it. I'm going to go through her music collection later on this week and steal whatever she's got.

01-21-2011, 05:33 AM
I've generally found The Decemberists' whole MO rather calculated and stilted, but I am actually really enjoying The King Is Dead. It seems so much more genuine and less affected than other albums I've heard by them, and of course, anything Gillian Welch touches turns to gold. "Rise To Me" is my current favorite. I get similar feelings from this record that I did from Laura Veirs' July Flame last year around this time.

EDIT: They're playing "Down By the Water" on Leno right now. I agree that the girl singing Welch's part doesn't fit into the song as well as I'd like.

Peter Z
01-21-2011, 05:58 AM
I've generally found The Decemberists' whole MO rather calculated and stilted, but I am actually really enjoying The King Is Dead. It seems so much more genuine and less affected than other albums I've heard by them, and of course, anything Gillian Welch touches turns to gold. "Rise To Me" is my current favorite. I get similar feelings from this record that I did from Laura Veirs' July Flame last year around this time.

My opinion is that this is the first album where Colin has really explored his own vulnerability. Previous attempts have been mixed with tongue-in-cheek humor (see The Sporting Life, The Apology Song), airy poetry (Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect, I Was Meant for the Stage), or in vignettes of historically placed black comedic drama (O Valencia!, July July, Yankee Bayonet).... but we've never had an album where Colin has really seemed visibly and genuinely introspective.

On The King is Dead, there are both themes of solitary aching (January Hymn, June Hymn, Dear Avery) and a collective melancholy vis-a-vis working together to get by (Don't Carry it All, Rox in the Box, Down by the Water). The fact that he uses first person perspective so much is off-putting to begin with, but if you trace the album, I think you discover that Colin is finally letting go of a lot of those facades that masked his own feelings. There seems so much less pretense, so much less artifice. And to be fair, the artifice used previously was executed wisely, because it fit either the pastiche or the Anglophilic paradigm. Those songs made sense in the logic of what was the Decemberists, but with this new album, Colin is changing up the playing field a bit. He's essentially redefining the band, much like he did with The Hazards of Love. I don't think it's fair to just say this album is minimalist or sparse-- I think it's an active attempt to reestablish the Decemberists, 10 years into their career as a band. And THAT'S what I find most engaging about the album!

01-27-2011, 12:02 AM
They've gone to US No.1 with 94,000 sales. Had no idea they were that big!

01-27-2011, 12:09 AM
Me neither. I've been enjoying The King Is Dead very much and am looking forward to seeing them play again in London in March.

I haven't seen anyone mention that Laura Veirs ([post28]) is a guest on one track yet. :)

Peter Z
01-27-2011, 12:26 AM
65% of the album sales were digital, too. Quite a feat!

01-27-2011, 12:43 AM
Can we talk about how amazing Dear Avery is for a minute?

There are times life will rattle your bones
And will bend your limbs
You're still far away the boy you've ever been
So you bend back and shake at the frame
Of the frame you made
But don't you shake alone
Please Avery, come home

That chorus is just breathtaking in its sad beauty, and it's a perfect closer to the album.

Also, I'm so excited to be seeing them for the first time on Friday! (and maybe Saturday too, still have to find a ticket for that show)

02-04-2011, 06:48 PM
I can't quite articulate why yet, but after only two listens, I think The King Is Dead is my favorite of all their albums. As someone upthread said, it seems less affected, more introspective, and I'd also add: more organic. I've always liked The Decemberists, but this album is making me love them.

11-27-2011, 03:22 PM
The Decemberists feat. Gillian Welch - Down By The Water (Live on Conan)

The King is Dead is probably going to be very close to top of my 2011 albums list.

11-27-2011, 05:28 PM
Me too, for sure. I adore this album as much as I adore Castaways and Cutouts. Each of their albums has such a distinct voice and tone, and each is a moment of forward progression. I'm excited to see what will happen next, though I read they'll be taking a years-long sabbatical now as a group (for Jenny's health? Colin's son? I don't know). One thing -- they were AMAZING live, even with the absence of Jenny, I can't wait to see them again.

12-06-2011, 08:35 PM
I am a relative newcomer to the Decemberists (from the beginning of this year) and I am curious to know what you guys all think/feel about The Crane Wife because of the three albums I have (Crane Wife, Hazards and The King is Dead) it is my favourite but I hear very little about it. I love pretty much every track (I'm still a little so so about the Shankill Butchers) and The Crane Wife 1 & 2 is my favourite song on any of those three albums. I just love love lovelove it ... does anyone else??

12-06-2011, 10:24 PM
Oh, I LOVE The Crane Wife. It was the first album of theirs that I really got into, and it was my introduction to the brilliance of their songwriting and performing. After that, I picked up everything they had released and went nuts. This album also has the added significance of being intrinsically linked to the feeling of falling in love, as I started listening to right before I met my husband.

Each song is a gem: The Crane Wife cycle brings me to literal tears - it was a high point of the year to watching them perform it live from second row; "Summersong" and "Sons and Daughters" are personal anthems; "The Island" is simply the most ambitious and impressive song they've ever recorded; and "After the Bombs" is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite song of theirs (Jenny KILLS me with that organ).

01-12-2012, 06:36 PM
Just saw this post on FB:

Coming March 13: We All Raise Our Voices To The Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11), a 20-track live double-album (and triple-vinyl set) drawn from 12 different shows from last year's tour. We'll announce pre-order details soon.

They haven't posted the tracklist, but apparently it is (http://www.directcurrentmusic.com/dc-music-news-feed/2012/1/9/the-decemberists-raise-our-voices-on-march-13-live-album.html):

1. The Infanta (from Picaresque)
2. The Calamity Song (from The King Is Dead)
3. Rise to Me (from The King Is Dead)
4. The Soldering Life (from Her Majesty)
5. We Both Go Down Together (from Picaresque)
6. The Bagman's Gambit (from Picaresque)
7. Down By the Water (from The King Is Dead)
8. Leslie Ann Levine (from Castaways and Cutouts)
9. The Rake's Song (from The Hazards of Love)
10. The Crane Wife 1, 2 and 3 (from The Crane Wife)
11. Oceanside (from the Five Songs EP)
12. Billy Liar (from Her Majesty)
13. Grace Cathedral Hill (from Castaways and Cutouts)
14. All Arise! (From The King Is Dead)
15. Rox in the Box (from The King Is Dead)
16. June Hill (from The King Is Dead)
17. Dracula's Daughter (from Colin Meloy Sings Live!)
18. This Is Why We Fight (from The King Is Dead)
19. The Mariner's Revenge Song (from Picaresque)
20. I Was Meant for the Stage (from Her Majesty)

01-12-2012, 07:20 PM
AWESOME!!!! And "Grace Cathedral Hill" is one of my all-time favories. Love!

02-08-2012, 08:29 PM
Live album available to pre-order (http://decemberists.com/)

Coming March 13, We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11) is a twenty song live double-album and triple-vinyl set. Performances are pulled from twelve shows on the 2011 World Tour including the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Marymoor Amphitheatre in Seattle, and our final two shows at McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheatre in Portland.

And exciting prize contest.

Pre-order We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11) and you will be entered to win the original vinyl test pressings of the album, signed and otherwise lovingly decorated by Colin, Nate, John, Jenny, and Chris.

Ten runners-up will get their pre-ordered CD or vinyl set signed by the band. The contest runs through March 13th and winners will be picked and notified by email on March 16th.

10-24-2013, 05:34 PM
The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy announces The Kinks covers EP (http://thelineofbestfit.com/news/latest-news/the-decemberists-colin-meloy-announces-the-kinks-covers-ep-140078)

The Decemberists frontman, Colin Meloy is well-known to be partial to a cover version – bringing out a Morrissey collection in the past. Now, he’s set to release a new EP of songs by The Kinks.

As Consequence of Sound note, Meloy will be self-releasing the short-player on his upcoming solo tour, only available at the merch stand of one of the tour’s stop-offs. One of the tracks, “Do You Remember Walter?”, can be heard over at NPR (http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2013/10/24/239790196/song-premiere-colin-meloy-do-you-remember-walter).

Meloy’s solo stint will take him across North America during November. Here’s the EP’s tracklisting below:

1. Waterloo Sunset
2. Harry Rag
3. The Way Love Used To Be
4. Do You Remember Walter?
5. Days

And check the tour dates beneath:

1 – New York, NY @ Town Hall
2 – Glenside, PA @ Keswick Theatre
4 – Somerville, MA @ Somerville Theatre
5 – Washington, DC @ Lincoln Theatre
6 – Durham, NC @ Carolina Theatre of Durham
8 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
9 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall
11 – Chicago, IL @ Park West
12 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
13 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Woman’s Club

Cool! I love The Kinks. UK dates please.

nathan zephyrus
11-30-2014, 09:35 PM
New record is awesome! I'm liking it much much more than the last one - the hiatus did them good.

Particular stand outs on listen 1 were:

Till the Water Is All Long Gone (I'm a sucker for a sad song)
A Beginning Song
Make You Better
12/17/12 [named for, and inspired by the Newtown school shootings]

Philomena and the compulsorily ever-so-jaunty Cavalry Captain feel a tiny bit re-hashy, but I don't care they are still great!

11-30-2014, 09:39 PM
Thanks for the reminder that I need to listen to this! :)

Snow White
11-30-2014, 11:49 PM
^ It leaked already?

Do I want to listen or wait for the vinyl? Such decisions...

12-02-2014, 03:48 PM
The Decemberists - Lake Song (Lyric Video)

Liking this!

Haven't listened to the whole album as I'm not caught up with 2014 releases yet so don't need to be starting on 2015 early. ;l

12-02-2014, 09:50 PM
Aww, it's so good to have them back! I have such a massive soft spot for them, I think I'll just automatically enjoy everything they do.

12-02-2014, 10:25 PM
Love love love this song. The phrasing, tone, and instrumentation are reminiscent of "On the Bus Mall", one of my all-time faves. I also like watching them jam here. Last time I saw them live Jenny was still in treatment so this is nice to see.

I super-loved The King is Dead and fully believe it has some of their best songs. I think the two songs I've heard from this new album prove that that kind of pullback was needed after The Hazards of Love.

12-09-2014, 12:59 AM
I've been listening for hours to this album and I can't stop. I flat out hated The King Is Dead, so I'm overjoyed at being able to relate to the new one. Till the Water Is All Long Gone just might be the best thing they've ever done.

01-13-2015, 12:53 PM
Full album stream (http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jan/13/the-decemberists-what-a-terrible-world-what-a-beautiful-world-album-stream).

Snow White
01-13-2015, 01:38 PM
^ Yay! Thanks for the update.

10-24-2016, 08:38 PM
The Crane Wife is 10!


01-18-2018, 12:40 AM

03-11-2018, 01:27 AM

03-13-2018, 09:17 AM

There's a certain Ethel Merman Disco Album quality to the Decemberists going synth pop. After one listen, Rusalka is gorgeous, and the rest are... hmmm. Don't know yet. Not too pleased.

03-14-2018, 04:25 AM
I didn't realize they were going synth pop. I'm quite excited to listen to it now.