Valley Noise: decker. combines psychedelia, folk and desert living

Described by its lead singer as “psychedelic desert folk,” decker. combines blues, rock and folk with songwriting inspired by the vastness of the Arizona desert. 

For the past seven years, the band has worked almost nonstop as its fan base expands beyond the desert.

The band is named after its lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Brandon Decker, a Sedona-based musician who has been the band’s driving force since 2009. Decker said he started seriously playing music after a “sorted set” of years, drawing from a wide and eclectic variety of musical influences.

The band performs covers during live shows along with original songs. On Saturday at the Lost Leaf, decker. played a blues-inspired medley of the Stooges’ “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog” and the Doors’ “Five to One.”

“Everything from Louis Armstrong to Nancy Sinatra, to Nick Cave, Rolling Stones – so much,” Decker said. “If you really like music, you have lots of different pools to draw out of.”

Decker said the desert environment was “inspiring” for him as a musician. Growing up in the Midwest, he said the beauty of Arizona continues to draw him back.

“Out here, you get these layers of mountains,” he said. “Barren land, and then suddenly up in the mountains it’s green and lush. It’s this expansive, brutal but beautiful place.”

Outside of Arizona, Decker said the band tours and travels extensively, having toured three times last year. In 2014, Decker said he didn’t take a day off until October.

“Ever since then, it’s always been like, ‘Can we write better songs, make better albums and do better tours?’” he said. “And learn how to grow with it and be happy with the life of an artist.”

The band has released four full-length studio albums, most recently the album “Patsy” in February of 2015. The album includes the song “5 Oscillations," which was used in an episode of “VICE on HBO” about the war on ISIS.

“I guess we just fit the bill,” Decker said. “It’s like a lottery ticket, you happen to get lucky every now and then.”

On Saturday, decker. released a limited-edition live album recorded during a performance at famed Phoenix venue Last Exit Live.

Decker said the band is recording its next album titled “Snake River Blues,” at Flying Blanket Recording in Mesa. The album will be released in September, during which decker. will take up a one-month residency at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.

Decker said he wasn’t sure about the future, but felt confident that his band’s psychedelic desert folk sound has found an audience.

“As we’ve continued to keep putting out albums and working and playing shows,” he said. “This is my life’s work. I feel like there is an audience that connects with it.”

decker. will perform at the Rebel Lounge in Phoenix on April 30.

Related links:

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