The Decemberists,"I'll Be Your Girl"
Updated: Dec 21, 2018
Dive into The Decemberists 11 track album, "I'll Be Your
An invigurating listening experience that will change your
perception that's a must listen.
Jesse Rumpca, 04/18
Portland, Oregon – based Indie rock veterans The
Decemberists are back at it again with their 8th LP, I’ll
Be Your Girl, released this March on Capitol Records.
This record features eleven tracks of, true to
Decemberists’ style, truly varying genres. Although
mainly musicians of an acoustic nature, the Decemberists
are no strangers to dabbling with electricity over the
course of their 17-year careers. However, I’ll Be Your
Girl takes a larger side-step into the realm of synthesizers
& the like, no new endeavor for most indie bands, but
somewhat new territory for our subject band.
The album’s lead single, “Severed,” makes this
abundantly clear, with its immediate intro of rolling
synthesizer triplets plastered against twangy, minor-key
guitar riffs, provided by members Jenny Conlee and
frontman Colin Meloy, respectively. The record’s intro
tune, “Once in my Life,” opens with a driving, two-
chord acoustic progression that is instantly reminiscent
of the closing track on the preceding record, What a
Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, perhaps acting
as a segue into this record, and the song opens up in
the chorus featuring a simple synth track over Meloy’s
As a whole, the record features tracks one has come to
expect on a Decemberists LP, ranging from blues-
rockers (“We All Die Young”), to dismal follies
(“Everything is Awful”), to expansive, rustic chorales
(“Rusalka, Rusalka / Wild Rushes”). It plays just as any of
their records do since breaking free of their strictly-folk
roots. However, this being said, the Decemberists have
not done much ground-breaking here, regardless of intent.
First listens of the synthesizer intro of lead single
“Severed” may have alienated a few condescending fans,
yet if you stripped off any new synth instrumentations,
you’re left with an album of what we’ve been used to
hearing for the past few Decemberists releases. Since
establishing themselves as competent acoustic
songwriters and musicians, the band has typically relied on
classic piano and harpsichord tones that have blended quite
well with their earthy nature, so although the synth chords
fit, the switch seems a little unnecessary on a few songs
(you be the judge).
Overall, what we have here is eleven new tracks written in
classic Colin Meloy fashion; never shy about flaunting his
huge vocabulary to paint a vivid picture or tell cautionary
tales, with slightly more compressed vocals and a bit more
synthesizer drizzled on this time. The spirit of this record
stands alone, a solid one, regardless of new instrumentation,
and features tracks that will definitely hold their own against
past releases. It goes without saying that whichever direction
the Decemberists decide to lean in the future, we’ll still be spinning it.