Apr 26, 2022 • 3M

Demonstration Tapes: Repaid

Doing my best Shara Nova impersonation

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Colin Meloy
Demos, unreleased. Come for guitar solos, stay for the bass flubs.
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The Queen in question, by Carson Ellis, designed for the HoL sleeve by Mario Hugo

In 2008, I started assembling and recording all the disparate bits that would become the Decemberists’ 5th record, The Hazards of Love. Many of the songs were born from my guitar meanderings in my basement studio, thundering through drop D guitar riffs with abandon. This was one such song; it’s an indulgent recording — who knows how many fuzzed out, wah-wahing guitar tracks are on there but it’s likely one or two too many. At this point, I had the story of Hazards sketched out in my mind — this was the song where the Forest Queen (drawn liberally from the Queen of Elfin in the old folk song “Tam Lin”) arrived to confront her adopted son, William.

How I made you
I wrought you, I pulled you
From ore I labored you
From cancer, I cradled you
And this is how I am repaid?

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