It was one of those nights at the Mann Center for Performing Arts where every moment made you fall in love with Philadelphia all over again. And each song made you feel more at home with the ever-engaged audience.
The skyline aglow, M. Ward took the stage with an acoustic guitar, alone, and fervently played to the crowd. The band shuffled in, playing favorites like “Chinese Translation” and “Post-War.” Mid-set, Ward announced a surprise album release of What a Wonderful Industry, that dropped today and followed it up with a new single, “Miracle Man.” Continue reading →
The Decemberists’ rich and earthy folk music always lingers with a sense of the past, but it was their recent offshoot project, Offa Rex, that quite literally time travelled back to the way olden days by solely performing traditional English folk songs with guest singer, Olivia Chaney. Now, the band is time traveling again — only this time, to the future.
With the release of their new single “Severed,” we hear the results of working with new producer, John Congelton (St. Vincent, Lana Del Ray, The Districts) for a unique mix of prog and garage rock sounds that morphs into a futuristic, space-y kind of folk breed. Listen to the single below. Continue reading →
Offa Rex is the new collaboration between The Decemberists and English folk singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney, and if the crowd was expecting to hear a Decemberists-heavy set geared towards fans of the beloved indie rock band they were in for a surprise. The set focused on Offa Rex’s debut album The Queen of Hearts, released July 14th on Nonesuch, but did include one cover of a Decemberists song, “Rox in the Box.” The billing that always seems to accompany Offa Rex is the parenthetical “(The Decemberists + Olivia Chaney),” but it is now clear that this is more informative than descriptive.
The collaboration was brought to life out of Decemberists’ Colin Meloy desire to create an Albion Band-backing-Shirley Collins-type project, and that’s exactly what was realized as the Decemberists act as the backing band for Chaney’s clear, haunting vocals. The Queen of Hearts reimagines classic folk songs found in the British Isles, and the role of 60’s folk hero troubadours appears to be a natural one for The Decemberists to step into, simply eliminating the “alternative” from their “alt-folk” classification.
I half expected them to walk on stage wearing period costumes, but there was no such luck. Continue reading →
Offa Rex, the collaboration between The Decemberists and English singer Olivia Chaney are streaming their debut collaboration, The Queen Of Hearts. They are making their local debut at the XPoNential Music Festival on Friday, July 28th. Continue reading →
Leading up to the July 14th release of their debut LP, Offa Rex have shared another song off of The Queen of Hearts called “Sheepcrook and Black Dog.” The collaborative outfit of singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney and The Decemberists will perform at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival on Friday, July 28th.
New group Offa Rex is the beautiful folky brainchild between indie outfit The Decemberists and singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney. The collaborative project, which is rooted in traditional British folk music, will debut their upcoming album Queen of Hearts on July 7th. But before then, the band has released a video for their take on the historic song, “Blackleg Miner.” Continue reading →
A packed crowd at The Fillmore stalked the stage, awaiting Colin Meloy and the rest of The Decemberists’ circus-like performance, full of tongue twisted lyrics and fantasy. Touring on their What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World LP from 2015, old fans were shouting for earlier favorites like “Red Right Ankle” and “The Chimbley Sweep.” After opening with a passionate “Crane Wife” parts 1, 2, and 3, everyone was at ease. Continue reading →
A gust of drums and a deluge of syllables packaged in an ever-expanding novella of a song. These were my feelings when I first heard The Decemberists’ “The Infanta” back in 2005. The opening track to Picaresque, the song, the album and the band all resurrected my love for music. And to hear this song performed by the 2015 incarnation of the Portland, Oregon-based indie eccentrics this past Tuesday at the Academy of Music was as exhilarating as it was the first time on CD. Before a sell-out crowd the Colin Meloy-led quintet were as captivating as ever. Continue reading →