Vitamin String Quartet will release an album of Decemberists covers this coming March. The track list for this album is as follows:
Down By the Water
Sixteen Military Wives
HereI Dreamt I Was an Architect
The Rake’s Song
This is Why We Fight
The Mariner’s Revenge Song
In honor of these seven songs, we give you seven facts about The Decemberists.
1.The Decemberists formed in Portland, Oregon in 2000. The band is fronted by singer/songwriter Colin Meloy. The other members are Chris Funk (guitar), Jenny Conlee, (organ, accordion, melodica, piano, keyboards, harmonica), Nate Query (bass guitar, string bass), and John Moen, (drums, backing vocals, melodica, gutiar).
2.The band’s name refers to the Decembrist Revolt, an uprising that took place in Saint Petersburg, Russia on December 14, 1825. The revolt involved Russian army officers leading a revolt of 3,000 soldiers in a protest after Nicholas I’s assumption of the throne. The protesters were defeated and deported to Siberia.
3.The band raised the money to buy studio time for their first EP 5 Songs by playing for hours at a hotel the night before they were set to record. They recorded 5 Songs in less than two hours and self-released the EP in 2001.
4.The band’s album and cover artwork is produced by Meloy’s wife Carson Ellis. The couple has one child and is currently working on a children’s book about a talking cat.
5.The band’s 2006 album The Crane Wife includes two song cycles. The eponymous cycle is based on a Japanese folk tale. The other cycle, titled The Island, is inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The album was produced by Tucker Martine and Death Cab for Cutie bassist Chris Walla.
6.R.E.M. appears on three tracks of The Decemberists latest release The King is Dead. Meloy has cited R.E.M. as a significant influence on this album.
7.The Decemberists will play at May’s Sasquatch! Music Festival in Oregon and Tennessee’s Bonnaroo festival in June.
The Decemberists – “Sixteen Military Wives”