The Decemberists are an indie folk rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States, fronted by singer/songwriter Colin Meloy. The other members of the band are Chris Funk (guitar, multi-instrumentalist), Jenny Conlee (hammond organ, accordion, melodica, piano, keyboards), Nate Query (bass guitar, string bass), and John Moen (drums, backing vocals, melodica).
The band's debut EP, “5 Songs,” was self-released in 2001. After releasing its first full record “Castaways and Cutouts” in 2002 on Hush Records, the band moved onto the Kill Rock Stars recording label. After the re-release of “Castaways,” “Her Majesty the Decemberists” was released in 2003.
In 2004, the band released "The Tain," an eighteen-and-a-half minute single track based on the Irish mythological epic “Táin Bó Cúailnge.” The band's final album with Kill Rock Stars was “Picaresque,” which was recorded in a former church.
The band's first album on their new label, Capitol Records, “The Crane Wife,” was released on October 3, 2006. The album was inspired by a Japanese folk tale, and centers on two song cycles, “The Crane Wife” and “The Island.”
Their fifth full-length album, The Hazards of Love, was released on March 24, 2009 by Capitol Records. “The Hazards of Love” is a rock opera, with all songs contributing to a unified narrative, similar to the use of recurring stories in “The Crane Wife.” The album debuted at #14 in the US, selling 19,000 copies in its first week.
“The King Is Dead” was released on Capitol Records in January 2011. On January 26, 2011, it became their first #1 album on the U.S. album chart. It has also gone #1 on the Rock Albums, Digital Albums and Alternative Albums charts. The first single, "Down By the Water," includes Peter Buck and singer-songwriter Gillian Welch, who contribute 12-string guitar and vocal harmonies, respectively.