Saturday, March 05, 2005

Decemberists album set to drop...

The Engine Driver - legal download via Kill Rock Stars

The Decemberists launch their long awaited (well, it hasn't been that long and it's already been much heard thanks to file sharers) pop-folk album, Picaresque on March 22nd. KRS has their tour dates and has announced that early copies will go out via mail order. The main KRS page has some of their latest characteristically goofy photos.

While much of the neo-folk community seems to want to revive the more obscure acts of the '60s, "The Engine Driver" (and indeed much of the album) instead recalls classic '60s country-folk. Grok Glen Campbell - one of the verses is even about a lineman for the county - and Johnny Cash if you need to (although I'd prefer to remember Crystal Gayle and Cher).

Its the oft-repeated story of the guy who loses at love and buries himself in his work - but rather than just focusing on blue collar losers, the song makes the story universal - standing or sitting in the boots and shoes of the train engineer to the rich banker - and most centrally the songwriter himself. And it further asks the question - do we become defined by our work or our love - and what if our only solace is our work when love fails? And... is it really solace when all we can do in our work is think about... well, you get the picture. The repeated verse:

And I am am a writer, writer of fictions
I am the heart that you call home
And I've written pages upon pages
trying to rid you from my bones

brings it home to the song writer himself.

1 comment:

jessica said...

i just bought the decemberists' album and they f*ckin' rock!:)