Decemberists – Florasongs

Decemberists - FlorasongsThe Decemberists are a pretty generous band. In addition to their studio albums, it’s not uncommon for them to put out an EP shortly after a full-length LP of additional tracks that didn’t make the original album. After Picaresque came Picaresqueties. Long Live The King followed The King Is Dead. And Florasongs comes on the heels of What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World.

In each of those cases, the tracks selected for these EPs have been recordings from the sessions of their parent albums. In other words, songs that didn’t make it. So it might go without saying that the EPs don’t bring anything new to the mix.

The five tracks of Florasongs came out of the sessions of the record they put out at the start of 2015 with mixed results. Why Would I Now is a slightly bouncier Make You Better and Riverswim is a pleasant track carried by a swelling accordion. Meanwhile, the noisy Fits And Starts is out of place here, as it would have been on the full album and could have stayed in the vault.

Most of Florasongs can be interchangeable with those from What A Terrible World and, if the Decemberists were a mainstream band, they’d have re-released it with these songs tacked on at the end and tried to cash in that way like so many currently do. But they didn’t go that route. And it is very appreciated.

Despite not making the original album, there isn’t a particular drop off with these songs, but not having them wouldn’t be a terrible miss either. Florasongs is more or less an EP for Decemberists fans who liked What A Terrible World enough to want it expanded. Consider it a bonus.
Three stars

1. Why Would I Now
2. Riverswim
3. Fits & Starts
4. The Harrowed And The Haunted
5. Stateside

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