The Decemberists - 16 Military Wives


Rating: 4/5

If you've never heard of them before, I introduce you to The Decemberists, who create a whole world of doe-eyed characters of yore, who play out their lives on galleons at sea, or at work on their fields in front of the band's gorgeous indie folk pop backdrops. '16 Military Wives' is the latest single from their recent “Picaresque” album and it's fabulous: musically it's a tuneful, bouncy guitar romp thats opening bars are reminiscent of Mungo Jerry's 'In the Summertime', the luscious sea of brass and strings lapping against the good ship Decemberists, all the while Colin Meloy's arching wide eyed melodic delivery betrays the songs dark subject matter. For the songs lyrics expose both the folly of war (“And America does if /If America says it's so/and the anchorperson on TV goes ladadadada!”) and the absurdity of modern American culture in an intoxicating literate way. (“Eighteen academy chairs out of which only seven really even care”)

And then there's the gorgeous chorus, vaster than the Atlantic Ocean, that the band sail across, and more pristine and poppy than a Tom and Jerry soundtrack. This is more refreshing than a glass of ice cold orange juice on a swelteringly hot day and more worthy than a hundred Coldplays playing live... whatever. Gorge on those words, feast upon this deceptively crafty pop, that like all the best bands is able to be musically uplifting and lyrically dark all at once, enjoy the bounty of great pop music brought to you by the Decemberists.