5 Songs (The Decemberists EP)

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5 Songs
EP by
Released2001 (2001)
RecordedType Foundry Studio
Portland, OR
GenreIndie folk, indie rock
Hush Records (2003)
ProducerJason Powers
The Decemberists EP chronology
5 Songs
The Tain

5 Songs is a six-track EP by The Decemberists initially self-released in 2001. It is the first record the band released. The misleading title owes to the fact that the final track, "Apology Song" (originally sung by frontman Colin Meloy into the answering machine of a friend named Steven as a legitimate apology for the loss of a beloved bicycle named Madeline[1]), was written after the original self-produced CD was released. Meloy liked it so much that it was added to the album when it was re-released by Hush Records in 2003.

The album cover was designed by the Portland artist Carson Ellis, the long-time girlfriend (and now wife) of Meloy, who has created artwork for each of the band's albums.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Colin Meloy.

3."My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist"4:42
4."Angel, Won't You Call Me?"2:40
5."I Don't Mind"4:40
6."Apology Song"3:12
Total length:23:52


"Apology Song" contains several references to the town of Missoula, Montana. The "Orange Street Food Farm" is a local grocery store popular with University of Montana students (mostly for buying beer).[2][3] The "Frenchtown Pond" is a reference to Frenchtown Pond State Park, located approximately 15 miles northwest of Missoula in Frenchtown, Montana. Meloy told audiences on 2 October 2007 at Royal Festival Hall how they reclaimed the bicycle years later, only for it to be crushed between cars when he was helping the true owner of the bike move house.[4]

"My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist" was originally released in a slightly more "country" version on Meloy's pre-Decemberists, Tarkio EP, Sea Songs For Landlocked Sailors, in 1999, and was re-released in 2005 on the Kill Rock Stars compilation of all Tarkio releases, Omnibus.[citation needed]