You know what you’re getting when you listen to The Decemberists. Right? This is music that you play as you button up your flannel before you head to the farmer’s market because you would not believe the radishes they have in right now. Just beautiful, beautiful fucking radishes. This is the music you play when your girlfriend invites that girl she met at Zengo to dinner, and that girl is bringing her boyfriend who’s an architect, and you don’t even know what the hell architects do, really, but you know it’s a cool profession and you better look cool, and before the dinner (where you better believe your serving those goddamn radishes, which are glistening, these radishes are) your girlfriend suggests maybe not that shirt, sweetie, you know, maybe the shirt I got you, the one with the buttons.
The Decemberists make folk that is simultaneously aspirational and bland and wonderful. It is the music to play to not offend anyone, but at the same time tells anyone in your general vicinity that you’re a pretty hip guy, yourself, thank you very much.
Their newest song is called “A Beginning Song.” It’s a Decemberists song. It’s got an inoffensive 12-string guitar and a lovely bassline and lyrics at which a thesaurus maker would nod proudly. Listen to it the next time you find yourself talking at length about a craft beer. It goes down smooth.