I was never quite certain why the Twee-stylings and high vibrato voice and extensive vocabulary of Colin Meloy appealed to me so much. But it has. Then I read this bit in Roon tonight:
“Picaresque left off, building slowly off a simple folk melody before exploding into some serious Who power chords. This is the first indication that the band itself was ready to take the loosely ornate, reverb-heavy Decemberists sound to a new sonic level, or rather that producers Tucker Martine and Chris Walla were. On first listen, the tight, dry, and compressed production style sounds more like Queens of the Stone Age than Fairport Convention, but as The Crane Wife develops over its 60-plus minutes, a bigger picture appears.
Meloy, who along with Destroyer’s Dan Bejar has mastered the art of the North American English accent, given himself over to early-'70s progressive rock with gleeful abandon, and while many of the tracks pale in comparison to those on Picaresque, the ones that succeed do so in the grandest of fashions. Fans of the group’s Tain EP will find themselves drawn to “Island: Come and See/The Landlord’s Daughter/You’ll Not Feel the Drowning” and “The Crane Wife, Pts. 1 & 2,” both of which are well over ten minutes long and feature some truly inspired moments that echo everyone from the Waterboys and R.E.M. to Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, while those who embrace the band’s poppier side will flock around the winsome "Yankee…”
I mean, I don’t think I chose them because of this, but when someone points out the connection you missed, the light bulb goes on.
I feel like an idiot. I mean, I see that I like Fairport Convention for the similarities, but I never recognized the prog in Decemberists.
Mike in Dayton