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The Decemberists

Picaresque - 2024 Reissue

    The Decemberists know that the psychology of a culture at war is complex; that historical archetypes can inform the masses on current events far better than the evening news; and, perhaps most importantly, that life is ultimately a spectacular and colorful pageant

    They remind us that, on any given day, we might rub shoulders with rogue spies and runaway prostitutes, child monarchs and vengeful mariners, boy ghosts, couples contemplating suicide, cannibals and drowning angels. This existence is indeed a spectacle to be revered.In August of 2004, Rachel Blumberg, Jenny Conlee, Chris Funk, Colin Meloy, and Nate Query set up shop at a former Baptist church in Portland, Oregon. With co-producer Chris Walla at the controls, the five musicians collectively known as The Decemberists emerged three weeks later with the bulk of the work completed for Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars - March 22, 2005), their most ambitious and realized effort to date.Features: 5 extra songs and incredible packaging - double lp in a gatefold with a 20 page color booklet.


    The Infanta
    We Both Go Down Together
    Eli, The Barrow Boy
    The Sporting Life
    The Bagman's Gambit
    From My Own True Love (Lost At Sea)
    Military Wives
    The Engine Driver
    On The Bus Mall
    The Mariner's Revenge Song
    Of Angels And Angles
    Bandit Queen (w/ DT)
    Bridges & Balloons
    Kingdom Of Spain
    Bandit Queen

    The Decemberists

    Castaways And Cutouts - 2024 Repress

      As its title would suggest, Castaways and Cutouts is a record populated with an eclectic array of unlikely characters in various states of abandonment and revelry - While the likes of Spanish gypsies, infant specters, and Turkish prostitutes are not common elements to be found within modern pop music, these figures find ample footing within the songcraft of Mr Meloy, supported comfortably by the bands lush and orchestral instrumentation.

      Recorded over a two month period in a warehouse in Portland, Oregon's Industrial Southeast, the record swims gracefully between heart- rending, deftly arranged pop and scrappy off-the-cuff dirge.


      Leslie Anne Levine
      Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect
      July, July!
      A Cautionary Song
      Grace Cathedral Hill
      The Legionnaire's Lament
      California One
      Youth And Beauty Brigade

      The Decemberists

      Her Majesty - 2024 Reissue

        For all intents and purposes, "Her Majesty" could best be described as the charming older brother to the band's previous outing. And, while being recognizably related to its sibling predecessor, it is an altogether different beast. Present and accounted for are the Victorian literary tropes, the rakish mariners, and the Dickensian downtrodden that slouched their way across the lazer imprinted surface of "Castaways and Cutouts"; in "Her Majesty the Decemberists," a new cast of characters is introduced as well, giving further depth to the richly bizarre songcraft of the band's bespectacled leading player, Colin Meloy: an aristocratic Jewess, slumming it blindfolded among the exotic avenues of a Chinese bazaar, the coifed and coked-up bon vivants of greater Los Angeles, the writer Myla Goldberg, and a pair of affectionate soldiers, celebrating their comradery among the mortar blasts and trench mud of World War I Belgium. Musically, the band travels


        Shanty For The Arethusa
        Billy Liar
        Los Angeles, I'm Yours
        The Gymnast, High Above The Ground
        The Bachelor And The Bride
        Song For Myla Goldberg
        The Soldiering Life
        Red Right Ankle
        The Chimbley Sweep
        I Was Meant For The Stage
        As I Rise

        The Decemberists

        As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again

          For over 20 years, The Decemberists have been one of the most original, daring, and thrilling American rock bands. Their distinctive brand of hyperliterate folk-rock set them apart from the start, releasing nine full-length albums that are unbound by genre and highly ambitious. Now the beloved indie band is back with their first new album in six years, As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again - not only the longest Decemberists album to date (and their first intentional, proper double-LP) but also their most empathetic and accessible, its 13 songs like semaphores of mutual recognition for our fraught times and faint hope. The first dozen songs are punchy, pithy gems all, reflections on mortality and loneliness, longing and cynicism, expectation and unease. The band animates them brilliantly, pushing out and pulling in at the perfect moments. John Moen practically dances beneath the jangle of opener “Burial Ground,” breathing the life into this song about spiraling toward the end.

          From the irrepressible “Oh No!" and guileless tenderness and absolute surrender of “All I Want Is You,” to the romantic ghost story that shimmers behind pedal steel in spite of the specter in "Long White Veil," these 12 songs alone would constitute a dazzling Decemberists album, rich with woe and love, anxiety and honesty. But a keening little choir and arid electric guitar invoke “Joan in the Garden,” the band’s first full-on prog escapade since The Crane Wife. Though rooted in doubt, much like the album it ends, “Joan in the Garden” ultimately lands as a celebration of music’s ability to convey valence and ambiguity, to frame an endlessly complicated story in instantly compelling terms. This, songwriter Colin Meloy will tell you proudly, is the best Decemberists albums and perhaps the ultimate realization of 22 years of work. In many ways, As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again feels like an aptly titled renewal for The Decemberists. The first full-length release on YABB Records, the band’s own label, after a run of nearly two decades with Capitol. As they were once, here are the Decemberists again, now an independent band empowered by singing stories that sound instantly familiar and convey some bit of hard-won wisdom.


          1. Burial Ground
          2. Oh No!
          3. The Reapers
          4. Long White Veil
          5. William Fitzwilliam
          6. Don't Go To The Woods
          7. The Black Maria
          8. All I Want Is You
          9. Born To The Morning
          10. America Made Me
          11. Tell Me What's On Your Mind
          12. Never Satisfied
          13. Joan In The Garden

          The Decemberists

          Traveling On

            The EP “Traveling On” is the next iteration of The Decemberists B-sides series, a tradition that began in 2005 and serves as a follow up to “Florasongs” and “Long Live the King”. It’s comprised of five B-sides related to their last album ‘I’ll Be Your Girl’ (4 tracks that were exclusive to the Exploded Edition box set + a full band version of “Traveling On”).

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Down On The Knuckle
            2. I Will Not Say Your Name
            3. Tripping Along (Full Band Version)
            4. Midlist Author
            5. Traveling On

            The Decemberists explore a new sound with a new producer on their inspired eighth studio album I’ll Be Your Girl, which will be released March 17 on Rough Trade Records. The acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based band worked with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Ray) and embraced influences such as Roxy Music and New Order to spark a new creative path, as can be heard on the synth-driven lead single “Severed”

            I’ll Be Your Girl is the sound of a veteran band finding new inspiration, a unit unafraid of challenging itself to re-connect with its creativity. “Making music is an infinite choose-your-own-adventure,” says Colin Meloy, “and when you go down one path, the other paths get sealed off. So every time we could, we said, ‘If this is what our impulses would tell us to do, let’s try to imagine it in a different way.’”

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: A more direct affair than their previous outing, 'I'll Be Your Girl' flits between the full-sounding AOR melodicism of War On Drugs and the pseudo-country psychedelia of their previous iterations, 'I'll Be Your Girl' takes all the elements we love about The Decemberists and distills them into a cohesive and hugely satisfying whole.

            TRACK LISTING

            Once In My Life
            Cutting Stone
            Tripping Along
            Your Ghost
            Everything Is Awful
            Sucker’s Prayer
            We All Die Young
            Rusalka, Rusalka / The Wild Rushes
            I’ll Be Your Girl

            The Decemberists

            What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

              “In some ways, this album was four years in the making,” says Colin Meloy, frontman and primary songwriter of the Decemberists. “We were on hiatus, so we had all the time we could want, no schedule or tour, no expectations.”

              With the ability to work at their own pace, the resulting record, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, is the band’s most varied and dynamic work, both musically and emotionally. Since their earliest recordings more than a decade ago, the Decemberists have always been known for their sense of scope and daring—from “The Tain,” an eighteen-and-a-half minute 2004 single based on an Irish myth to their last two ambitious, thematic albums, The Hazards of Love and The King is Dead. This time, though, Meloy explains that they took a different approach: “Let’s make sure the songs are good, and eventually the record will present itself.”

              Without a deadline, the Decemberists were also able to explore every song to completion. “Usually you have to let some songs slide because of time constraints,” Meloy says, “but nothing was relegated to the b-side pile, everything was given a fair shake. Which is a blessing and a curse—we ended up with 18 songs, and each had champions and detractors. There were a multitude of albums you could potentially make—somber, over-the-top pop, folk—and I think every band member would have created a different record.”

              Ultimately, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World found its final form, a distillation of the best things about this remarkable band. A new way of working led to a renewed excitement about the next chapter for the Decemberists. “I’ve never lived with a record for so long,” says Colin Meloy, “documenting my shifts and changes as a songwriter, with a real sense of time passing. And there’s something very freeing about working on music with absolutely no agenda, and just letting the songs become themselves.”

              The Decemberists

              The Hazards Of Love

                The Decemberists' "The Hazards Of Love" album plots an extravagant tale rooted in ancient language and imagery of a woman ravaged by her lover who is able to change his form between animal and man. The result is musically and lyrically rich with elaborate orchestrations that explode like baroque fireworks. The Decemberists are joined on this record by Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden and there are cameos from Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Robyn Hitchcock and The Spinanes' Rebecca Gates.

                1. Prelude
                2. The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle The Thistles Undone (The Hazards Of Love part 1)
                3. Bower Scene
                4. Won't Want For Love (Margaret In The Taiga)
                5. Wager All (The Hazards Of Love part 2)
                6. Queen's Approach
                7. Isn't It A Lovely Night
                8. Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid
                9. Interlude
                10. Rake's Song
                11. Abduction Of Margaret
                12. Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing
                13. Annan Water
                14. Margaret In Captivity
                15. Revenge (The Hazards Of Love Part 3)
                16. Wanting Comes In Waves (Reprise)
                17. Drowned (The Hazards Of Love Part 4)

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