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New Single and US Tour Announced For The Decemberists

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After a six-year hiatus from releasing new music, The Decemberists are back with a new single “Burial Ground” out today. With its infectious horns and jangly guitars, the song becomes a hit with listeners right away, as James Mercer of The Shins provides backup vocals whilst lead singer Colin Meloy’s consistently astute lyrics drive the track forward.

Meloy describes “Burial Ground” as “a paean to hanging out in graveyards,

“The melody hook came to me in a dream and I hummed it into my phone on waking. Most dream-songs are bad; this was the exception.” 

In the spring and summer, the Decemberists will embark on a massive North American tour. The tour will begin on April 30th at the Ulster Performing Arts Centre in Kingston, NY and will conclude in August on the West Coast.

Some of the more notable venues are the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre on May 3rd, Chicago’s Salt Shed on May 21st, and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on May 24th. On August 3rd, the band will play McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon, marking their triumphant return to their hometown.

The Decemberists have been a cutting-edge, exciting, and innovative American rock band for twenty years. The Decemberists’ unique brand of hyper-literate folk-rock was evident from the release of their debut EP 5 Songs in 2001. The band was formed in 2000 when guitarist, singer, and songwriter Colin Meloy relocated from Montana to Portland, Oregon, where he met bassist Nate Query, keyboardist Jenny Conlee, and guitarist Chris Funk. Castaways and Cutouts was the band’s 2002 full-length debut. Following that, they signed with Kill Rock Stars and released the critically acclaimed Her Majesty the Decemberists (2003) and Picaresque (2005), both of which were produced by Chris Walla. The Tain, the band’s 18-minute epic single-track EP from 2004, revealed their lofty creative goals.

With the addition of drummer John Moen, the band’s permanent lineup was complete around this time, and in 2006, they made the surprising move to Capitol Records for their first album on the label. Fans’ fears that the band would stray from their signature sound were allayed with their most daring and ambitious record to date, The Crane Wife. Walla and Tucker Martine, who would later become a longtime collaborator, produced the album, which included a song cycle that incorporated elements of hard rock, quasi-disco, and ’70s prog. The New York Times, Rolling Stone, SPIN, Stereogum, and Pitchfork all gave the album high marks.

After three years, Meloy’s full-length concept album, The Hazards of Love, which was inspired by a stage musical, reached the Top 20. The King Is Dead, their first album to reach number one, was released in 2011. It contained the GRAMMY-nominated single “Down By The Water.” After the success of 2015’s What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World, which featured the single “Make You Better” that peaked at #1 on the AAA radio charts, the Decemberists collaborated with producer John Congleton to experiment with new sounds and production techniques for their eighth studio album, I’ll Be Your Girl (2018). According to NPR Music, “I’ll Be Your Girl captures a collaborative spirit that keeps the band sounding vibrant and alive.” This means that even The Decemberists, a band whose records have always come bursting with verve, need to refresh and reconsider their sound at some point in their careers.

In addition to founding Travellers’ Rest, a festival in Missoula, Montana, that they curate themselves, The Decemberists have performed at innumerable major festivals during the last two decades of their career. You might recognise the band from their appearances on The Simpsons and their work with Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton. They even put out a board game called Illimat, which they crowdfunded. Colin Meloy, who also sings lead, has written several books, including The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid, the Wildwood Chronicles, which were bestselling in the United States and internationally, and two picture books, Everyone’s Awake and The Golden Thread: A Song for Pete Seeger. Carey Mulligan, Angela Bassett, Jermaine Clement, Tom Waits, and Mahershela Ali are among the actors expected to appear in the upcoming animated film adaptation of Meloy’s Wildwood Series.

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Jayne Denham Shares Her “Moonshine”

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In the latest episode of the Country HQ Spotlight On podcast, we are over the moon to be welcoming special guest Jayne Denham, wherein listeners can expect an engaging conversation about her journey in the music industry. Known for her powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics, Jayne Denham has made waves in the country music landscape, and are a feature of her latest album MOONSHINE.

Hosted by Adam Simon, the podcast delves into Jayne’s artistic vision, influences, and experiences that have shaped her career.

Whether you’re a die-hard country music enthusiast or simply curious about the stories behind the songs, this podcast provides an intimate look into the lives of artists like Jayne Denham.

So grab your headphones, tune in, and immerse yourself in the world of country music with Jayne Denham as your guide!

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Caitlyn Shadbolt Returns With All Star Single

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Caitlyn Shadbolt’s “Country Music Never Made More Sense” is her latest single release after a short break. Melanie Dyer, Sammy White, and Sarah Buckley form a formidable trio to join Caitlyn on the single, which is a playful tribute to country music. All of them, plus Camille Trail, contributed to the composition of the song during a girls’ songwriting weekend.

“’I got together with the girls for a writing weekend. We planned to be all professional and split into groups and write in the studio, but we ended up having a couple of wines and writing this song around the fire! I feel like this song is extra relevant right now as country music is cranking and it’s never made more sense!”

Caitlyn Shadbolt is a top songwriter and performer in Australia’s modern country music scene. With the help of ABC MUSIC, Caitlyn was able to release her first album, “Songs On My Sleeve” (May 2017), after reaching the finals of Season 6 of The ‘X Factor’ Australia (2014). The album debuted at number one on the ARIA Country Albums chart upon its release. For eight weeks running, the lead single “My Break Up Anthem” was the most played song on Country Radio, and it also topped the CountryTown National Airplay Chart, while the CMC Award for Best New Artist and a nomination for Female Artist of the Year were both given to Caitlyn in recognition of her accomplishments.

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“A Bird That Won’t Sing” Comes Straight From The ‘Hart’

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“In The Midnight Sky Alone” is the most recent album by soulful alt-country troubadour Rick Hart of Melbourne, Australia and the single “A Bird That Won’t Sing” is the new single from the album.

Rick Hart’s signature style is a melodically flowing, harmony-laden environment overlaid with the profound grief of his words and visuals. All of Hart’s tracks have the signature Americana and country sounds that make him unique. There is a noticeable amount of Wilco and The Jayhawks influence.

An emotionally charged story on the harsh truth of heartbreak. Everything that was once is gone, and with it comes an unwavering sense of regret and the knowledge that change is inevitable.

“Rick Hart writes and delivers beautiful country songs – they are thoughtful, poignant, heartbreaking and smart,” remarked legendary Australian musician and songwriter Lachlan Bryan of Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes and The Pleasures, who co-produced Hart’s third long play . “I wanted to work on this record because I already believed every word he sings, and after spending weeks in the studio with Rick and his guitar, I now KNOW them all to be true”

Early reviews of the album indicate it’s amazing reach and potential to appear on several year end top ten lists, even though we are not even at the halfway point yet.

Based on Michael George Smith’s review of the album ‘In The Midnight Sky Alone’ in Rhythms Magazine, “the songwriter that the record portrays is a storyteller of the heart.”

“You really should listen to this album in its entirety because, first, if you skip around, you’ll miss out on some of the characters and stories told throughout, and second, if you just listen to a couple of songs, you won’t get nearly the whole experience that this album offers. I get that we live in a singles-based culture, and I’ll admit that there are a number of tracks that would grab my attention if I only listened to the singles, but listening to the entire album has been incredibly rewarding.”
‘In The Midnight Sky Alone’ album review in RAGMAG

“Hart is a refreshing counterpart to the plethora of male singers who have gone awry of country tradition. Hart is a perfect antidote to whatever bro-hangover still looms over us and has the same refreshing appeal that Sam Outlaw’s debut album had”. For The Country Record

“This is impressive songwriting! The melodic aspects perfectly capture the emotional tone of the songs. The classic alt country/R&B musical aspects are brilliant. It’s a genuine pleasure to review this exceptionally high level of songwriting.“ The Great American Songwriting Contest

“With his deeply soulful voice, Rick Hart journeys to the heart of modern Americana-alt-country, where frankness, sadness and songs collide.” Greg Arnold (Things of Stone and Wood)

“I’ve worked with Rick Hart, and he’s a superb songwriter! Rick’s music is a unique combination of roots and country.” – Bill Chambers (Australian Country Music Icon) –

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