Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Writer of Fictions

And I am a writer, writer of fictions
I am the heart that you call home
And I've written pages upon pages
Trying to rid you from my bones

So muses Colin Meloy, front man for The Decemberists, on one of my new favorite songs: The Engine Driver. I was recommended this song by someone recently and it has struck a beautiful chord with me. Only seldomly does a band tell stories like The Decemberists do; their latest album The Hazards of Love presenting itself as a rich, conceptual album of 17 tracks, each one more cleverly orchestrated than the last.

The Decemberists are a group that have slowly meant more to me over time, and their songs merit multiple listens before you dole out an opinion. Like any good musician, Meloy lets your understanding of his work build the more tracks you hear.
I was introduced to the group of Portland natives in high school, but my fondness of them is re-found with every track I discover. It's a slow process, a gradual comfort that seeps over me with every listen. I'm in no rush to digest every one of their albums at once; instead I'd rather take it step by step, savoring a new song every so often. Similar to the way one miserly stretches out the reading of a favorite novel, so I've done with The Decemberists. Meloy is nothing short of a craftsman on his latest, and all albums with The Decemberists. He posesses a mysterious, timeless affectation that leaves you with little regard for what sparked the tales he tells. Regardless of their lyrical origins, it is his creation and meticulous execution of these words that leave their listeners better off.

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