Episode 143: The Decemberists

“Once In My Life”

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The Decemberists are a Grammy-nominated five-piece band from Portland, Oregon. They released their first album in 2001, and since then they’ve put out seven more, including the 2018 album I’ll Be Your Girl. In this episode, singer and guitarist Colin Meloy breaks down The Decemberists’ song “Once In My Life” — from his first demo, to the final tracks they recorded in the studio.

Buy or stream “Once In My Life” here, and watch the music video below.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Richard Thompson – “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”
The Smiths – “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
SinBin, home of Halfling Studios in Portland

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Episode 142: Christine and the Queens

“Doesn’t Matter”

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Christine and the Queens is a singer, songwriter, and producer from France. Her debut album was first released in 2014 in French, and in 2015, she released an English version of it. It was critically acclaimed and she won the Victoire de le Musique—France’s equivalent of the Grammy—for Best Female Artist in 2015. In July 2018, she released the single “Doesn’t Matter” in advance of her second album, Chris. Like before, she made a French version and an English version, but this time she wrote both versions simultaneously. In this episode, she talks about what that translation process was like, and the possibilities it opened up, as she takes apart “Doesn’t Matter.” The song and the story first began in Chris’s basement.

Buy or stream “Doesn’t Matter” here, and watch the music video below.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Coryphaeus in Greek tragedy

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Episode 141: Neko Case

“Last Lion of Albion”

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Neko Case is a singer and songwriter. She’s been nominated for multiple Grammys, and in addition to her own music, she’s a member of the band The New Pornographers. In June 2018, she put out her 7th album, Hell-On, which she also co-produced. In this episode, Neko Case breaks down the song “Last Lion of Albion.” Albion’s one of the oldest names for island of Great Britain, and it was while she was in England that this song first began.

This episode is guest-hosted by Thao Nguyen of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. It features special intro music by Julien Baker.

Buy or stream “Last Lion of Albion” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
k.d. lang
Foreigner – I Want to Know What Love Is
Farfisa
Vocoder

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