The Decemberists are a folk rock 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), Jenny Conlee (organ, piano, accordion), Nate Query (electric bass, acoustic bass, cello) and John Moen (drums). Their latest album is “The King Is Dead” which was released on 17 Jan 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” onPicaresque. 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.