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01 Intro/ The Crane Wife, Pt 3 5:37

The Decemberists

@ Metro Theatre, Sydney, 19 January 2010

Hailing from Portland, Oregon The Decemberists made their first Australian pilgrimage on the back of their 2009 release - The Hazards Of Love - the follow-up to their 2006 breakthrough, The Crane Wife.

From their debut, Castaways and Cutouts, in 2002, and its follow-up Her Majesty only a year later, the band have been defined by their eccentricities from the beginning. Producing 18-minute songs, tangled narratives, and featuring accordions, cellos, Wurlitzers, bouzoukis and hurdy-gurdies, THE DECEMBERISTS are no ordinary band.

2005’s Picaresque, brought them a small measure of fame, and the aforementioned 2006’s The Crane Wife was as close to a smash-hit as a folk-rock quintet from Portland can reasonably hope to score with its catchy, concise single "O Valencia!" With songs that range from upbeat pop to instrumentally lush ballads, the band favour the storytelling approach when it comes to songwriting.

Producing an old–fashioned prog concept record, The Hazards Of Love is way more about the sound journey than killer choruses, with strummy British folk rock and heavy–metal thunder, orchestral strings and even a children's choir. Full of sprawling song suites, the album is a grandiose narrative about star-crossed lovers William and Margaret - and the dastardly villains who beset them.

With their fifth full-length album, the quintet of Colin Meloy, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, Nate Query and John Moen solidifies its standing as one of the most innovative and creative forces in music today.