.

Decemberists Get Religion

Portland quintet records third album in a church

September 24, 2004 12:00 AM ET
On the heels of the July release of The Tain EP, the Decemberists spent August in a Baptist church in their native Portland, Oregon, tracking new songs for their third record. Produced by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, the tentatively titled The Infanta is due out in the spring on Kill Rock Stars.

The album will be the hyper-literate indie folkers' third full-length (plus two EPs) in the span of four years. The title track is about "the coronation procession for a child Spanish princess," explains songwriter Colin Meloy. Another track, "The Buxmoll," deals with male prostitution in downtown Portland.

The Infanta continues the band's evolution from the acoustic guitar-based 5 Songs EP (2001) through the symphony of accordion, glockenspiel, pedal steel and "tin toys" showcased on The Tain, a five-part song suite based on an Irish folk cycle.

"On 5 Songs and the first record, we were sort of going on default settings: these are the instruments we have, and this is how we're going to play," says Meloy. "As we've gotten closer as bandmates, we've really started to flesh out a better sound. On this record, a lot of the emphasis is going to be on the instrumentations themselves.

Meloy's lyric-writing also received a jolt from his experience penning The Replacements' Let It Be, his non-fiction chronicle of the seminal 1984 indie rock album. "I had a renewed vigor for writing songs," he says of immersing himself in the ramshackle mind of the young Paul Westerberg, "and writing really out-of-control, over-the-top, imaginative ramblings."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com