Music that Strikes a Chord — “Rise to Me,” by The Decemberists

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The Decemberists, left to right: Nate Query, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, Colin Meloy, John Moen. Photograph: Autumn de Wilde for the Guardian

Since Spotify has stopped working with the bluetooth in the car through my phone, I have started listening to CDs again. The Decemberists’, “The King is Dead” is one hell of a good album as I’m being reminded. What thrills me about it is the voice of Colin Meloy. His voice is truly heavenly. It’s clear, it is well-modulated, and it flows into my ear like warm honey. Not only that, Colin wrote every song on it. In the song being highlighted from the album today, the steel guitar played by Chris Funk is featured. Chris knows his steel guitar and how to make it wail just right. Gillian Welch sings backup vocals on, “Rise to Me.”

Wikipedia says: The King Is Dead is the sixth studio album by The Decemberists, released on Capitol Records on January 14, 2011. Described as the “most pastoral, rustic record they’ve ever made” by Douglas Wolk of Rolling Stone, the album reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart for the week ending February 5, 2011. The song “This Is Why We Fight” reached number 19 on the U.S Alternative Songs Chart, while the song “Down by the Water” also charted in the United States.

The King Is Dead was recorded during spring 2010, with most of it being made in a six-week period in a barn at an 80-acre … site called Pendarvis Farm, near Portland, Oregon. It has been speculated that the album title is an homage to The Smiths’ 1986 album The Queen Is Dead, largely due to Colin Meloy’s long-touted influence from the band. It was co-produced by Tucker Martine. Meloy has said that a primary musical influence for much of The King Is Dead is R.E.M., and three songs, “Don’t Carry It All”, “Calamity Song” and “Down by the Water”, feature the R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck. The King Is Dead has been called the “most pastoral, rustic record they’ve ever made” by Douglas Wolk of Rolling Stone. On January 26, 2011, it became their first No. 1 album on the U.S. album chart.

Big mountain, wide river,
there’s an ancient call,
these tree trunks these stream beds,
leave our bellies full
they sing out, I am gonna stand my ground
you rise to me and I’ll blow you down
I am gonna stand my ground
you rise to me and I’ll blow you down

Hey Henry, can you hear me,
let me see those eyes
this distance, between us
can seem a mountain size
but boy, you are gonna stand your ground
they rise to you you’ll blow them down
let me see you stand your ground
they rise to you you’ll blow them down

My darling, my sweetheart,
I am in your sway,
two cold climbs, come spring time
so let me hear you say, my love
I am gonna stand my ground,

they rise to me and I’ll blow them down
I am gonna stand my ground,
they rise to me and I’ll blow them down
cause I am gonna stand my ground
you rise to me and I’ll blow you down

22 Comments Add yours

  1. Aphoristical says:

    It’s a great record – I kind of miss the pretentious epics, but they’re great at Americana too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you know and like it, Graham. It is. Have you heard them with Olivia Chaney as Offa Rex? That’s another kickass album.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aphoristical says:

        Nope, I’ve never heard Offa Rex!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Ooh ooh! You should check the album out. I don’t think they will make another one but you never know…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. CARAMEL says:

    Goldfinch went to see The Decemberists live at the Hammersmith Apollo just before he went back to Australia. I wished I could go with him but I had to work that evening. I met him for a drink before though, and of course he came back to mine afterwards – we had Thai food that night. He said their performances are very interactive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Oh wow, how awesome is that. I’d love to see them live. Since I haven’t been keeping up with your blog, is Goldfinch still in the picture in some way?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CARAMEL says:

        He is still very much loved by me. But he is still on the opposite side of the planet.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. CARAMEL says:

            We stay in touch though Li – we are great friends.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              πŸ™‚ ❀ ❀ πŸ™‚

              Liked by 2 people

  3. memadtwo says:

    My daughters and I were just talking about that album! I had just found it in my so far unfiled cds and listened to it with delight once again and we were talking about the songs. A gem from start to finish. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      What a wonderful bit of synchronicity. We could have even been listening to it at the same time at some point πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        I like that idea. Entirely possible.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Liam says:

    I love this album. In fact, it will be appearing sometime this year on my Favorite 250 Albums list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Awesome, Liam. It’s a good’n.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    This is really soulful! I like the arrangement and really like his voice…not to mention the steel guitar.
    He doesn’t sound like Frankie Miller but the mood of the song is great and it reminds me of the Miller song “I Can’t Change It”…the atmosphere of it. Great song Lisa.
    I’m babbling tonight…sorry

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Soulful is a good way to describe it. No need to apologize, Max. I’m babbling right back πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    I love the Decemberists!
    And why would Spotify stop working? These bloody things are so annoying… But on the bright side, good thing you still have your CDs πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dale, I think it is the car that is messing up. Bluetooth has been patchy in it from the beginning. So annoying is right. I also have a usb port in the car that I can put a flash drive in with music I just don’t want to hassle with it. CDs work just fine πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dale says:

        I feel ya. I’m a radio girl anyhow πŸ˜‰
        My kids are disgusted with me that I asked for a radio for my office. I like my station, what can I say? πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

        1. msjadeli says:

          Dale, you are blessed if you can find a good radio station in your area. We have very little choice, most of it not listenable. I go straight to NPR talk radio when I listen, which is ok but not music most of the time.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Dale says:

            I just like our national radio station. It plays light rock with more Canadian content than other stations (which has led me to wonderful discoveries), then classical for a few hours and back to contemporary. In the evening, depending on the days, there is blues, jazz, and various others. I just like most of it. Very rare I want to change the channel. But I’m not “normal” supposedly πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 2 people

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