hey folks! this category of review has been on hiatus for quite a while, but i still have a bunch of old discography reviews i’d like to have posted here on the site, so i’m gonna start posting some From the Vault discography reviews again – hopefully Thursdays, but maybe a bit more frequently and sometimes a bit less. i’m picking back up with The Decemberists! this series of reviews covers the band’s whole discography, from 2003’s 5 Songs EP all the way to 2018’s Travelling On! this review was originally written in September 2021.

next up, we’re checking out the EP that contains the “extras” Picaresque – it’s Picaresqueties!

The Bandit Queen is the uncontested champ of this EP. v glad it’s 40% of the tracks here (track 5 is the same as track 1, minus the vocal intro, the tapdancing at the bridge, and a bunch of the piano). this track is sweet and jaunty and the player piano really makes it. i would prefer the closing version, as im not huge on the dialogue and would lose the tapdancing to skip it, but that version is missing a lot of the piano, so the opening version reigns supreme. Bridges and Balloons is am extremely solid track. very sweet. plus this bit from an interview is very funny –

“You change, perhaps inadvertently, a couple key words that really affect the meaning of the song. When she says “brace and buoy the living room,” it sounds as if you’re saying “brace and boil,” which obviously changes the implications of that line a lot.”

Colin Meloy: “I just fucked it up. I think I was drunk when I recorded it.”

Constantinople is nice too – a little winding and a little hesitant to be sad. not bad at all. The piano work on Kingdom of Spain is really beautiful, and the track itself goes between beauty and sadness, and its a really cool track.

faves – The Bandit Queen
dislikes –

yeah this was a really nice B side, def worth the visit if you liked Picaresque. Even though The Bandit Queen is my only like, major standout track here the whole this is a solid collection of tracks. it does move a little slow – the middle three tracks are all more laid back, and without the piano the closing version of BQ just moves a little slower too. def not bad, but not my fav of their releases. still absolutely worth the quick runtime.

Picaresqueties – 4/10

next in the discography is The Crane Wife

first: 5 Songs EP | previous: Picaresque | next: The Crane Wife

all my reviews for The Decemberists