About six or seven years ago, I was browsing for a movie at Bellingham’s Film is Truth video store, when I heard music playing that was new to me, music that went straight into my heart.
As I learned from asking the clerk, it was the debut full-length LP by The Decemberists, titled Castaways and Cutouts. I bought the album the next day, along with their first record, the Five Songs EP, I now own and love everything they’ve done since, and I can’t wait for the release, on January 18th, of their latest album, The King Is Dead.
Their last album, The Hazards of Love, is an old-school concept album that I was slow to get into, not because I didn’t like the music, but rather, due to the fact that it isn’t a simple collection of songs and the story is rather complicated. It is a record that asks you to spend some serious quality time with it before it reveals all its secrets, and just yesterday its greatest secret took my breath away.
I was listening to the album through earbuds from my iPod as I walked across campus, and the last song, The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned) was just about the most beautiful thing I’d heard in a while, so beautiful, in fact, that it made me cry.
And so, since it would be selfish of me to keep this beauty all to myself, here the best quality clip of it that I could find on YouTube: