"Severed" - The Decemberists [Official YouTube Music Video]

First album single features politically charged video and new sound from Portland's folk rock heroes
Barrett Rouen

by Barrett Rouen

Published January 22, 2018

The Decemberists released a colorful, mesmerizing, and politically charged video for the single "Severed" off their upcoming album I'll Be Your Girl.

An image of Donald Trump with devil horns dancing while fish and bombs fall from the sky is particularly evocative.  The animated video continues to show a tank rolling across the screen and finally, each of the band members' heads is severed.  It's a thought-provoking video that entertains the accompanying and defiantly catchy track.

The synth-heavy number has elements of electronic post-punk, which is a major departure from the folkier sounds the band has become known for over 18 years and 7 studio albums. In a press release from Capitol Records, frontman Colin Meloy shared how the album was a reflection of our current social climate, saying, "exuberant nihilism, an apocalyptic dance party was what we envisioned.”  Here are some additional insights shared in the statement:

When you’ve been a band for 17 years, inevitably there are habits you fall into... so our ambition this time was really just to get out of our comfort zone. That’s what prompted working with a different producer and using a different studio. We wanted to free ourselves from old patterns and give ourselves permission to try something different...

We were talking about music and our references... It kept coming back to Roxy Music and early glam, and we dove in with that in mind. The Decemberists are a record-collectors’ band, we’re all fans and scholars of music, so there a lot of touch points that we all get, but they don’t always come through. So we were trying to embrace that Bryan Ferry aspect, that kind of set the tone...

That was written as a punk song, but wasn’t really working... Jenny set this arpeggio throughout it, and it became like an early New Order song. And I had forgotten that when we made the demo, I also started a file to turn it into more of a Depeche Mode song—I actually wanted it to be a synth song all along.

You can pre-order I'll Be Your Girl on Amazon.

The Decemberists will be touring this year beginning at Pomona, California's Fox Theater.  For more check out their Zumic artist page

The Decemberists
Folk Rock Indie Rock
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