The Decemberists - 16 Military Wives

The Decemberists' Colon Meloy has a degree in creative writing, which explains his quirky, imaginative and wry lyricism, evident throughout the band's back catalogue. Their bookish brand of indie-folk-pop sounds a bit like The Levellers performing Belle and Sebastian songs with American accents; it shouldn't work, but it does. And therein lies the band's charm: there isn't really anyone else like The Decemberists around at the moment. Meloy sings about child monarchs, sea-faring adventurers and failed sportsmen - an unusual mix that reflects the band's whimsy and wit.

Jaunty single 16 Military Wives is taken from The Decemberists' third album Picaresque, which was released earlier this year. It's a waggish, satirical poke at American politics and showbusiness that rolls along with a cacophony of brass, strings and concertinas; as much music as it's possible to cram into four and a half minutes without over-egging the pudding. Clever stuff.

The video for 16 Military Wives is available online, and to promote this single, the album track The Engine Driver is available to download for free for a limited period.



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