I heard the first single off of the latest album “I’ll Be Your Girl” and threw up. ‘Severed’ was a techno bowl of crap and i quite literally wiped my hands of the band that had had such profound impact on me not so long ago. Colin Melloys voice sounded strained and pathetic and just gross and my God that twit twit twit electronic noise.. no. Just no.
So ooo tour announcement! Pass. OOOO new album full release! … no. Hell no. Gimme The ‘Crane Wife’, give me ‘The Rakes’ song, give me back the band that gave me the creeps like dusty velvet Fauntleroy suite or whatever. I think I called them a jacquard tapestry once- but spooky.
So I took a trip across Sirius XM and whoa.. there was that voice that nasal creepy sort of sound once again. I knew right away it was Melloy and thought smugly, this was when he actually didn’t suck. Turned it up. couldn’t identify the lyrics and said. .’uh oh’, audibly no less. Wait was “Severed’ a joke? Could it be that The Decemberists were punk-ing us with that crap?
Yup cuz “Once In My Life” is just the band I remember. Weak lyrically but dismal and dark and dusty. Depressing but in a good way and for ways without cause- hes not really stating anything depressing- hes just whining with a weird new beat and for all it is- its really good. It opens the new album (thankfully or I wouldn’t have made it far enough to hear) and I can assure you it will open their live set. “For once in my life could something go right?” will be the sing along line of 2018. As the millennials bitch and moan about whatever new topic offends them- they can whimper with the ringleader of the despondent.
But the song opens up and yeah they have the synth on full tilt but its not as horrific- an throughout the song it adds even more uneasiness. It doesn’t belong there that drum machine beat but with the nasal familiarity and backing vocal (is that Jenny Conlee?) it comes together as one of the few whoops moments i care to share. I made a mistake in thinking this new release wasnt worth hearing.
I misjudges this release. “I”ll Be Your Girl” has a few dogs on it- but it starts super strong and is followed by “Cutting Stone” which actually would have fit well on Picaresque if you ask me but keep your FF finger poised cuz you’ll hit some snags, some pretty awful stuff, actually. But amongst the rubble theres a couple gems and “Once In My Life” is one of them.