Here’s to old Decemberists and new summer memories, free from the maladies of winters before and drenched in the Pacific sun.
I think The Decemberists have reached a point where they will always have a certain amount of cache in folk & indie rock circles — they have proven themselves time and time again with incredible albums and memorable, moving songs. I will say the likes of “Castaways and Cutouts”through “The Crane Wife” are altogether stronger but the newer efforts show a polish that a band gets when it focuses on its sound and storytelling over meeting the trends of the day. Still, songs like “July, July” or “Valencia” have that perfect balance of bright and melancholy that made The Decemberists an unforgettable band even before they tried their hand at a more theatrical style.
For that reason, ironically, The Decemberists always sound like summer to me.
“This is the story of the road that goes to my house
And what ghosts there do remain
And all the troughs that run the length and breadth of my house
And the chickens how they rattle chicken chains
And we’ll remember this when we are old and ancient
Though the specifics might be vague
And I’ll say your camisole was a sprightly light magenta
When in fact it was a nappy bluish grey
And the water rolls down the drain
The blood rolls down the drain
O, what a lonely thing
In a blood red drain
July, July, July
It never seemed so strange.”
The Decemberists, Castaways and Cutouts