The Decemberists Press Release - The Crane Wife out October 3!
North American Tour kicks off October 17!
New York, NY) - The Crane Wife, the Capitol Records debut from the Decemberists, will be released on October 3rd. A North American tour will kick off on October 17th with a two-night stand in their native Portland, Oregon. A full list of confirmed tour dates is below.
The Decemberists have risen from beloved cult favorites to the first rank of the indie music world with a series of beautiful and fantastical albums brimming with flawless melodies and songs inhabited by casts of legionnaires, chimney sweeps, sea captains and seekers of all kinds. Led by these songs, and by a group dynamic that embraces experimentation even as it celebrates everything from classic pop to klezmer to Irish jig to prog rock, The Decemberists have hand-crafted a purely original aesthetic all their own.
But upon first listen it's immediately apparent that The Crane Wife is the band's most ambitious and enthralling album to date. Decemberists songwriter and frontman Colin Meloy first came across the story of "The Crane Wife" several years ago in the children's section of a local bookstore. A venerable Japanese folk tale that's been handed down in countless variations and translations through the centuries, the deceptively simple story has stayed with Meloy ever since.
Drawing on the long-simmering inspiration of the tale, Meloy, along with his fellow Decemberists - multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk, keyboardist Jenny Conlee, bassist Nate Query and drummer John Moen - set about creating a rich collection of songs which leap off from the story itself into a deeper, more unpredictable musical world.
And, significantly, the band was able for the first time in its career to take ample time building their arrangements in a well-equipped studio in Portland. Granted the luxury of preparation, the band, along with co-producers Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) and Tucker Martine (Laura Veirs), cultivated an environment of total creative freedom.
It's tempting to think of The Crane Wife as a concept album but that's not entirely accurate. It's more like an extrapolation of the folk tale, a re-imagining of its themes on a broader canvas. For every song that touches directly on Meloy's interpretation of the Japanese legend (gorgeous album opener "The Crane Wife 3," or its prequel, "The Crane Wife 1 and 2"), several more take their cue from the fabric of the story and stretch outward into other visions.
Sometimes the visions are of bleak urban murderers on the prowl in "Shankhill Butchers"; sometimes the waterlogged mingling of love and death in "Summersong," sometimes the bloodied pop confection of "O Valencia!" But the album's unquestionable centerpiece is the 13-minute murder ballad "The Island" and its subsections "Come and See," "The Landlord's Daughter," and "You'll Not Feel the Drowning." As the lyrics chronicle a tale of murder and rape, the instruments chart a far-flung course through multiple musical genres into a full-blown masterpiece.
"There was a real strong sense among the band that we were not going to try to make a record that someone would typically make for a major label," says Meloy. "In some ways I think it pushed us farther to the left, farther out of the Decemberists comfort zone."
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife tracklisting
1. The Crane Wife 3
2. The Island
- Come and See
- The Landlord's Daughter
- You'll Not Feel the Drowning
3. Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)
4. O Valencia!
5. The Perfect Crime #2
6. When the War Came
7. Shankill Butchers
9. The Crane Wife 1 & 2
10. Sons and Daughters
Upcoming tour dates (sorry, no new songs just yet) can be found on The Decemberists Myspace
Here's a sneak peak at their new website