Music Month: Day 1: ‘The Decemberists’

Let’s be clear from the outset, I really like what I’d call ‘American Coffee Shop Music’. To be filed on this playlist, you need a few stock ingredients: 1) A sense of humour, 2) Some jingly guitar, 3) a sing-along chorus, 4) an uplifting feel, and a bit of a song where it calms down and builds up. Optional flavourings include using some orchestral instruments and some great videos.

The Decemberists have all of this in spades.

If you check out their Wiki entry, it sets the mood perfectly:

On their website, the group claim that their official drink is Orangina, that they love the video-game Bioshock and “adore” the bands Norfolk & WesternExplosions In The SkyThe Postal ServiceThe Long WintersDeath Cab for CutieDokkenTychoEl Ten ElevenThe Shins,The Octopus ProjectElectrelaneCamera ObscuraClearlakeThe ThermalsModest MouseSwords and Earlimart. The band’s official biography, keeping up their reputation for grandiloquence, also describes how they met in a Turkish bath. A footnote following the biography claims, “The Decemberists travel exclusively by Dr. Herring’s Brand Dirigible Balloons.” Colin Meloy has listed Anne BriggsNic Jones, and Shirley Collins – who led the 1960s British folk revival – as major influences on The Hazards of Love. Meloy has also confessed a “slavish love” for Morrissey, one of his principal influences.[2] The band has also cited their liking for Siouxsie and the Banshees,[3] and the pop tunes of R.E.M. and XTC. The band also draws inspiration from British and Irish folk music.

If you like Belle and Sebastian, you’ll like this. Actually, forget that, if you like music you’ll like this.

Below are two videos that instantly caught my attention.

So that’s day 1’s listening sorted. It’s going to be a good month.



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