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The Decemberists

Led by Montana native Colin Meloy, the Decemberists craft theatrical, hyper-literate pop songs that draw heavily from late-'60s British folk acts like Fairport Convention and Pentangle and the early-'80s college rock grandeur of the Waterboys and R.E.M. The band's initial lineup also included drummer Ezra Holbrook, bassist Nate Query, keyboardist/accordionist Jenny Conlee, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk. Frontman Meloy had previously devoted some time to an alternative country group before breaking off to pursue his craft as a singer/songwriter in the city of Portland, a move that eventually led to the Decemberists' formation. Drawing influence from his degree in creative writing, he began fashioning a hybrid of literate lyrics and wide-ranging pop music, touching upon everything from Sandy Denny to Morrissey in the process.

Before Hush Records released the band's debut album in 2002, the Decemberists baited their initial fans with a five-track EP. Their full-length debut, Castaways and Cutouts, was re-released that same year on the Kill Rock Stars label, and the band began to accumulate a serious fan base. After adding organist and keyboardist Rachel Blumberg to the group, in 2003 the Decemberists released Her Majesty, another fine collection of theatrical indie pop with pastoral sensibilities that further cemented their growing reputation. One year later, a five-part epic EP entitled The Tain -- based on the eighth century Irish poem of the same name -- appeared, followed by the full-length Picaresque in 2005.

The group, which at this point consisted of Meloy, Conlee, Query, Funk, and drummer John Moen, made the move to the major leagues by signing with Capitol Records in advance of 2006's The Crane Wife, which managed to hit number 35 on the Billboard 200. The album also grabbed the attention of comedian/satirist Stephen Colbert, who challenged Funk to a guitar solo competition during a live taping of his show The Colbert Report. For their next project, the Decemberists tackled one of Meloy's most ambitious ideas to date: an honest to God rock opera. The Hazards of Love appeared in 2009, featuring a fantasy-filled story line as well as cameos from My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark, and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden.

In January 2011, the band unexpectedly topped the charts with The King Is Dead, a concise and rustic country-pop collection that featured guest appearances by Peter Buck and Gillian Welch, and followed it up later that year with the outtakes EP Long Live the King. With touring completed for The King Is Dead, the band went on hiatus, but still released the double live album We All Raise Our Voices to the Air in 2012. Two years later, in early 2014, the Decemberists announced several live dates for the summer and the beginning of work on their seventh studio album. On January 20, 2015, the album, titled What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, was released, and the group celebrated the event with a three-month tour covering the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States. In September of that year, the band issued an EP, Florasongs, that featured material from the What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World sessions. ~ Linda Seida
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Long Live The King

1. E. Watson

2. Foregone

3. Burying Davy

4. I4U & U4me (Home Demo)

5. Row Jimmy

6. Sonnet

x

Track List: The King Is Dead

1. Don't Carry It All

2. Calamity Song

3. Rise To Me

4. Rox In The Box

5. January Hymn

6. Down By The Water

7. All Arise!

8. June Hymn

9. This Is Why We Fight

10. Dear Avery

x

Track List: The Hazards Of Love

1. Prelude

2. The Hazards Of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle The Thistles Undone)

3. A Bower Scene

4. Won't Want For Love (Margaret In The Taiga)

5. The Hazards Of Love 2 (Wager All)

6. The Queen's Approach

7. Isn't It A Lovely Night?

8. The Wanting Comes In Waves / Repaid

9. An Interlude

10. The Rake's Song

11. The Abduction Of Margaret

12. The Queen's Rebuke / The Crossing

13. Annan Water

14. Margaret In Captivity

15. The Hazards Of Love 3 (Revenge!)

16. The Wanting Comes In Waves (Reprise)

17. The Hazards Of Love 4 (The Drowned)

x

Track List: The Crane Wife

1. The Crane Wife 3

2. The Island: Come & See/The Landlord's Daughter/You'll Not Feel The Drowning

3. Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)

4. O Valencia!

5. The Perfect Crime #2

6. When The War Came

7. Shankill Butchers

8. Summersong

9. The Crane Wife 1 And 2

10. Sons And Daughters

x

Track List: Picaresque

1. The Infanta

2. We Both Go Down Together

3. Eli, The Barrow Boy

4. The Sporting Life

5. The Bagman's Gambit

6. From My Own True Love (Lost At Sea)

7. 16 Military Wives

8. The Engine Driver

9. On The Bus Mall

10. The Mariner's Revenge Song

11. Of Angels And Angles

x

Track List: Billy Liar (Single)

1. Billy Liar

2. Los Angeles, I'm Yours

3. Everything I Try To Do, Nothing Seems To Turn Out Right

4. Sunshine

x

Track List: The Tain

1. The Tain

x

Track List: Her Majesty The Decemberists

1. Shanty For The Arethusa

2. Billy Liar

3. Los Angeles, I'm Yours

4. The Gymnast High Above The Ground

5. The Bachelor And The Bride

6. Song For Myla Goldberg

7. The Soldiering Life

8. Red Right Ankle

9. The Chimbley Sweep

10. I Was Meant For The Stage

11. As I Rise

x

Track List: Castaways And Cutouts

1. Leslie Anne Levine

2. Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect

3. July, July!

4. A Cautionary Song

5. Odalisque

6. Coocoon

7. Grace Cathedral Hill

8. The Legionnaire's Lament

9. Clementine

10. California One Youth And Beauty Brigade

x

Track List: Down By The Water (Radio Single)

1. Down By The Water

x

Track List: Florasongs EP

1. Why Would I Now?

2. Riverswim

3. Fits & Starts

4. The Harrowed And The Haunted

5. Stateside

x

Track List: ITunes Session: The Decemberists

1. Calamity Song (ITunes Session)

2. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye (ITunes Session)

3. Shankill Butchers (ITunes Session)

4. June Hymn (ITunes Session)

5. This Is Why We Fight (ITunes Session)

6. Shiny (ITunes Session)

7. The Hazards Of Love 4 (The Drowned) (ITunes Session)

8. When U Love Somebody (ITunes Session)

x

Track List: Lake Song (Single)

1. Lake Song

x

Track List: Make You Better (Single)

1. Make You Better

x

Track List: What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

1. The Singer Addresses His Audience

2. Cavalry Captain

3. Philomena

4. Make You Better

5. Lake Song

6. Till The Water's All Long Gone

7. The Wrong Year

8. Carolina Low

9. Better Not Wake The Baby

10. Anti-Summersong

11. Easy Come, Easy Go

12. Mistral

13. 12/17/12

14. A Beginning Song

Comments

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Did anyone else here NPR when Colin interviewed about What a Terrible World, basically saying half the songs are his response to the sandy hook shootings and the other half are about when he was younger and all he wanted to do was bang chicks. interesting combo
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What is this music?
I like it...
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Mitochondria is the power house of the cell
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I HATE my Dragon Speaks, (sometime is something)
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I'm fairly new to Pandora, less than one year, So I've had to depend on FM radio. So I'm new to The Decemberists . Love their sound. Thank you Pandora. There had to be sometime else. There's good music and art everywhere. It's a gift and it's what we do best.
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GO DECEMBERISTS
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Decemberists are one of my favorite bands. Great folk music. Glad my friend showed me this band, they have some great music
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WILDWOOD!!!! ! !









Ps. Is it weird that a song by Of Monsters and Men reminds me of Wildwood, which was written by the singer of The Decemberists ?
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I wish I could of seen them here in Raleigh, I wish their new album was on here, Lake Song is phenomenal
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Wow this is truly awful
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ruppn
saw them last night in Raleigh, great show...i am jumping on the bandwagon!
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Saw them in Missoula two weeks ago, it was a wonderful concert!!
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They sound like another group... But I can't place the groups name!!! They're great!!!!!
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lil_sprout0
LAME
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wenberep
I as well discovered them by accident. I fell off a ladder and when I awoke in the hospital they were on the radio! Second best accident ever!
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Best accident ever
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I, too, discovered the Decembrists by accident
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I discovered The Decemberists by accident, and ever since then I have become a big fan.
I really appreciate their return to lyrical storytelling .
If I had to describe them in one sentence, I would say " The Decemberists are the cure for your common pop music".
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Love their lyrics. Every song is a story a masterfully sung story
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Love them. Country numbers like Dear Avery are beautiful. Love the pedal steel in that song.
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Colin's book series is amazing x_x
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channeling REM...
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This album art is so cool
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This is my favorite band ever. I saw them live on their last tour. I want them to go on tour again because my dad promised me tickets if they do!
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Can't wait for a new album, I've searched the net for every and anything that has meloy's name on it. I've even started reading the wildwood books. Yes, I'm obsessed
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Jenny Conlee's keyboard fills must be noted when discussing the power of the Decemberists .
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Love the dark caberet sound...How about some Harlequin Jones or Birdeatsbaby Pandora?
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I have to admit I'm obsessed
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*ever
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Possibly the best band ecer
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this is so damn good
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colins voice and the band he plays with is so mesmerizing
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collin melloys voice is pretty amazing.
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Shiny
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Kind of a prog band ,maybe?
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i Enjoy this
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no they're still together. even making an appearance on parks and rec. so excited!
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I love this band!!!!!!
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Wew.
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pretty nice
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Piano, harmonica and lap steel... Beautiful combo of instruments along w colin's storytelling . Timeless and perfect
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Damn dark and haunting stuff. Just the way me likes it
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I thought they officially quit making albums and performing because Colin wanted to do other things. They did a lot of interviews saying the 2011 album was their last. If too much time passes and they don't put out a new album we'll know it's true.
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I first owned Crane Wife and was blown away. I bought Picaresque with trepidation. Would it be possible for the group to equal what I consider one of the best albums of all time? It didn't take long for me to realize it was possible. Both albums are similiar and yet different. Both albums are brilliant! I was a Beatles fan for, literally, decades. There's no going back.
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anahi.orange
Oooohhh vallllleeeee n n n n c c c c c i i i i i i a a a a a a a . . . . . . . . .
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Some hits, some misses..can' t blame them for trying to be unique..Qual i t y band, thumbs up
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so much better than nicki minaj
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standingonwo r l d s e n d
I believe it was these guys who wrote the novel Wildwood and its sequel.
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La-de-da-de- d a
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anette_green
<3
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