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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/actor 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. ~ Linda Seida, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Tain

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Track List: Down By The Water (Radio Single)

Comments

Jenny Conlee's keyboard fills must be noted when discussing the power of the Decemberists .
Love the dark caberet sound...How about some Harlequin Jones or Birdeatsbaby Pandora?
I have to admit I'm obsessed
*ever
Possibly the best band ecer
this is so damn good
colins voice and the band he plays with is so mesmerizing
collin melloys voice is pretty amazing.
Shiny
Kind of a prog band ,maybe?
i Enjoy this
no they're still together. even making an appearance on parks and rec. so excited!
I love this band!!!!!!
Wew.
pretty nice
Piano, harmonica and lap steel... Beautiful combo of instruments along w colin's storytelling . Timeless and perfect
Damn dark and haunting stuff. Just the way me likes it
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.
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.
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 . . . . . . . . .
Some hits, some misses..can' t blame them for trying to be unique..Qual i t y band, thumbs up
so much better than nicki minaj
standingonwo r l d s e n d
I believe it was these guys who wrote the novel Wildwood and its sequel.
cgeganto
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest Friday by the love if your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you do not post this comment on to at least 3 songs you will die in the next 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minuets when done press f6 and your lovers name will apper on the screen in big letters this is scray cuz it actully works
La-de-da-de- d a
anette_green
<3
Great lyrics. Depth of purpose/poet r y .
That's a long sentence, Bobby.
I often find my own self listening to the music of nothingness when riding my harley after 600 long miles and I shut the ipod down I am hearig my wn soul and it is people and song wriers like this that inspire me to writ and continue to Listen, and am always riding as if my maker is my co-pilot as I ride it like I stole it at times I will lay down on the throttle andhit afew switchbacks and feel my imortality, I fel the moment and nothing else matters but here and now. If You can't relate Jump o
Words cannot describe how much I truly love this band. Even if I never get my wish and see them live, I'll still count myself blessed to listen to even one of their songs.
This ban is awesome
strts5
Hand on mouth Make wish hand over heart post on 3other songs tomatoes is your best day ever
This band gives me hope for the future of music
brennangandy 7
As soon as I heard his voice I thought about R.E.M.! :D
strangejade5
Why does his voice remind me of John Green? -.-
vigilante413
:DDDDDDDDDDD D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D
emmaj74
*Meloy not Melloy
emmaj74
to My pony name is Sparkly Rebellion~ Anna, we all get that you love the Decemberists , but if other people don't like you need to respect that. Not that i don't love them went to see them in concert and met Mr. Melloy and his wife Carson Ellis.
k9srockon
Best album of all time- The King is Dead. My favorite album by the Decemberists - The Crane Wife..... I guess that's just me being me..
k9srockon
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k9srockon
Wildwood is now my favorite book, I read it while listening to this. Colin+Colin= my happy place :)
mattanddonna
I didn't realize Colin is an author. I'm reading Wildwood right now....
debracarrier e
reading Meloy's book, Impassable Wilderness - my running grounds Forest Park into a mysterious lyric packed fantasy. It's literature!
k9srockon
Awesomest. Band. Ever. I am twelve and love this band. HOW could anyone hate them at all? The are awesome. My dad is a pro musician so you CANNOT say I am just some dumb kid and ont know anything about music.. These guys INDIE! Whoo Colin Meloy!!
babyharpo242
I loooove this song! :D Colin Meloy, your awesome!
k9srockon
Omigosh! kornkamper20 0 3 ! How could you! That's my favorite song! No way am i ever talking to you again! *Harrumph!*
k9srockon
LOL w_willis101, but seriously, YEAH!
You guys need to hurry up, and get those asses back on tour, I demand it! (And how dare they compare you guys on here too Death Cab for a Cutie) BLEH
jwf1451
Mensa Music
to all that say this band sucks, go to their bio page, look at their discography, go to picaresque and sample mariner's revenge song
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