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The Decemberists


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Portland, Oregon, United States (2000 – present)

The Decemberists are a band which formed in 2000 in Portland, Oregon, United States. The band currently consists of Colin Meloy (vocals, guitar), Chris Funk (guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, pedal steel guitar), Jenny Conlee (organ, piano, accordion), Nate Query (electric bass, acoustic bass, cello) and John Moen (drums). Notable former members include Rachel Blumberg (drums, vocals) and Jesse Emerson (bass). The band’s most recent album, The King Is Dead was released on 17 January 2011.

Named both in reference to the Russian Decembrist Revolt (they use the national anthem of the Soviet Union as an introduction at many concerts) and to the atmosphere associated with the month of December, the Decemberists write songs that range from upbeat pop to instrumentally lush ballads. They often employ instruments like the accordion, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer organ, and upright bass. In their lyrics, they eschew the angst and introspection common to modern rock, instead favoring a storytelling approach, as evidenced in songs such as “My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist” from the 5 Songs EP and “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” on Picaresque. Their songs convey tales ranging from whimsical (“Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect”) to epic (“The Tain”) to truly dark (“Odalisque”). They often invoke historical events and themes from around the world. Early in their career, The Decemberists’ musical and lyrical aesthetics frequently prompted critics to compare them to Neutral Milk Hotel.


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  • Songs_of_Myself

    Love their name. Why? Because screw Czar Nicolas I, that's why.

    3 hours ago Reply
  • paulomatico

    A little anticipation and twin twink:

    22 Nov 4:25pm Reply
  • edaz

    "Like the perfect paramour//you were in your letters" Make You Better - Terrific single

    8 Nov 10:02pm Reply
  • RebelGlassZero

    colin meloy & I share a birthday. I believe we have a kinship that goes deeper than water or blood. also, "Make You Better" is great.

    8 Nov 7:24am Reply
  • Moonlooper

    I am way too excited for this new album. Make You Better is a perfect song. I hope they at least have a couple longer narrative-based ones, but as long as they are all quality, I won't complain. Just give me that North American Tour and we will be all square, Colin!

    4 Nov 12:09am Reply
  • banana-tail

    I heard Make You Better for the first time when Colin played it at the Fonda in LA last January. I had a perfect video of it, and I loved the song so much that I listened to it constantly! And then I got a new phone and I lost the video and I was so I've just bought the single and I can't stop listening to it!!

    3 Nov 8:33pm Reply
  • Agallochy

    "Make You Better" is beautiful!

    3 Nov 7:35pm Reply
  • sacason


    3 Nov 12:19am Reply
  • Marisoul

    What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World. Now, that's a great name

    25 Oct 10:37am Reply
  • Scintillante

    hipster garbage

    3 Oct 7:51pm Reply
  • sls

    also if "Music is a no-border, no-politics expression AFAIK" I have an album full of patriotic songs and national anthems that'll blow your mind.

    20 Aug 10:54pm Reply
  • transparentman

    neww album coming soon!

    7 Aug 12:12am Reply
  • ML_IDLM_KTN_12

    "Not sure why most of the bands of the US, have to reinforce that they are from the USA by showing their flag a lot, like trying to brain wash the viewers.. Music is a no-border, no-politics expression AFAIK" - said in a shoutbox of a band whose profile pic shows the frontman with a soviet passport.

    8 Jul 4:28am Reply
  • Adthey

    Judging by the last week charts, people watched the Parks finale ;)

    6 May 3:34pm Reply
  • EvanClark

    Thank you kindly, Whatwillburn.

    29 Apr 11:10pm Reply
  • whatwillburn

    and Amazon has "The Tain" plus the below, but not the final 3 crane wife tracks you'd be looking for.

    29 Apr 8:31pm Reply
  • whatwillburn

    EvanClark, dunno if it's different in the US, but Google Play music store has Five Songs, Always the Bridesmaid, and "Culling of the Fold" from Crane Wife bonus. All 320kbps.

    29 Apr 8:26pm Reply
  • transparentman

    I literally can't get enough of these guys. They are ridiculously talented bunch. I can listen to them when I'm happy or sad, perfect for any mood.

    29 Apr 1:27am Reply
  • whatwillburn

    Nice of them to play "The Crane Wife 3" and "Bye Bye Lil' Sebastian" for the Pawnee/Eagleton unity concert the other day.

    28 Apr 11:16pm Reply
  • jk_sloop

    the decemberits makes feel warm...specialy "here i dreamt i was an archite" meaningful for me today..

    26 Apr 6:25pm Reply
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