The Decemberists' current CD, The Crane Wife, is the band's first major-label release (on Capitol Records) after three CDs on the respected independent label Kill Rock Stars. But anyone who wondered if that would cause The Decemberists to move in a mainstream direction can breathe easy.
The Crane Wife might well be the band's most adventurous work yet. But singer/songwriter Colin Meloy says his band wasn't trying to re-affirm its adventurous tendencies. On some level, he says, the major-label situation may have figured into the music.
"I have a feeling that if we had stayed with Kill Rock Stars, we would have made a similar record," Meloy says. "But I do think that [the major-label deal] did push us to know that we needed to be as strong and as confident on this record, in our playing and our approach, to prove to people we were the same band, that we were going to continue making this music on our own terms rather than the terms of the label."
The Crane Wife, like The Decemberists' previous CDs, is a theme album, in this case based on a Japanese children's folk tale. Musically, it expands on the band's folk-like sound, with a rockier edge on several songs.
"Our first three records really kind of created a foundation for what our voice is as a band," Meloy says. "And I think with this record, it really felt like it was the right time to branch out and try something different."
The Decemberists with My Brightest Diamond
Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St., Denver
Sunday, April 22, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $15, 16-plus; visit ticketmaster.com.