The Decemberists front man Colin Meloy has never been afraid to wear his heart or his politics on his sleeve, as witnessed by the overtly political nature of the bands most recent album, I’ll Be Your Girl. Just in time for the end of the year, the band released an EP of songs from the sessions entitled Traveling On, five warm and rustic folk songs just as good as the album they were left off. The winner is the title track, a melancholic folk rock number that’s quite cinematic in scope; with picturesque lyrics that are not overtly political, it feels like the sort of song that will be heard playing over the credits of a documentary on the Trump administration five years from now. We’re not always enthused about overt politicizing in song—doing so can quickly date the music—but this song isn’t bad, and it is vague enough to keep it fresh.
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