Video Premiere | decker., “Sea Change”

Sedona, Arizona-based singer-songwriter Brandon Decker, known by his stage name decker., announces his eighth studio album, Ouroboros, a haunting fusion of poetry and chaos. A concept album relating to death, loss, and transcendence, Ouroboros serves as a pathway to the other side, a cathartic journey captured in just two days of recording at the legendary EastWest Studios in Los Angeles. Mixed by Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Curtis Granding, Danger Mouse), the album features a cast of 16 musicians boldly recorded live in one room with no overdubs.  Despite the emotional weight behind Ouroboros, decker.’s band delivers a thrillingly rich and robust sound, filled with horns, strings, and choir, punctuated by moments of gentle beauty and frenetic energy. The album will be released on June 9, 2023, through The Royal Potato Family.

Along with the announcement of Ouroboros, decker. shares the latest single today, “Sea Change,” along with a music video. “Sea Change” presents the album’s most tender and intimate moments, which bring a ray of hope amidst the storm of blaring urgency which the album builds too.

“‘Sea Change’ is about the moment of stillness found in the storm – where we can find the still place within that is calm and at peace,” explains decker. “From there we can view our lives, internally and externally with a new lens of hope.” 

That vibrancy of the moment bleeds through every song on Ouroboros. The brass feels like they were blown into town by a hurricane nursing one bottle of rum between them. The strings play like they believe they can still get off the sinking ship. Decker’s voice sounds like someone who has had to rescue many pages of poetry from the clutches of bullies. 

For a band known for music dubbed “psychedelic desert folk” the song “Supernovae” somewhat surprisingly pushes through the choppy waters of this storm at sea; the horn section trying to get its footing while Decker alternately sings, “I’m alright, I’m alright, I’m alright  / I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive.”  The track feels thrillingly unstable, what rock and roll should be.  The Strokes get lost in the desert in the driving “Mojave,” as Decker emotes, “I hope a rattlesnake don’t get bit by you.” No matter how furtive and searching a decker. song gets, there is always a burst of brightness and escape, bringing the sky close to the desert floor. Like a “Long Long Long” following a “Helter Skelter,” the song “Sea Change” dries out our storm-soaked clothes with a gentle, circular melody. A torrent of words comes instead of electric guitars and horns as Decker sings, “Do you remember Twilight?” A string section and a chorus of singers provide a gorgeous backdrop for this gate-crashing band’s surprising turn of gentleness.

“Spirit is your strength/ not a myth, not a weakness,” Decker sings on “Limbs,” the center point of the album. All of us living through this era have been asked to forgo the urges of the spirit in favor of technology and money and now we realize it might be up to us to create our own ceremonies and rituals. On “Mourning Dove,” he sings, “My sweet dove, my sweet lamb/ Held it so tight it slipped right through our hands.” That paradox drives the music on this record, trying to grasp the sweet things with scarred hands.

After two days of recording, even before the album was mixed, Brandon felt the totality of his grief rise up within him to finally be witnessed and celebrated, all to be let go into the air. Ouroboros is a true grief ceremony captured on tape. “I lived through this, I loved through this, I transformed, and now it is done,” says Decker.

Photo Courtesy: Matty Steinkamp