By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published May 06, 2004 at 5:23 AM

{image1}After getting signed by Polyvinyl Records, local septet Decibully released their first national label album, "City of Festivals," late last year.

The album title is an obvious nod to Brew City, but the lyrical references are much subtler -- mostly from lead singer William J. Seidel's experiences of being a Milwaukee musician and Midwestern kid.

"I'm still waiting for the chance to get out of here/on this frozen lake this ice don't break at all/ but the hard part is convincing myself to leave here/I've got my friends and my ghosts," writes Seidel in "Holy Angels Choir," nailing the conflict felt by many Milwaukeeans who are caught between wanderlust and the comfort zone.

The majority of "City's" songs -- particularly "On the Way to Your Hotel" -- are as lonely and beautiful as the first snow of the year, but a few catchier tunes like "Tables Turn" round out the record nicely.

Decibully's overall sound is indie-Americana-emo-melancholia, like a lonely marriage of Mazzy Star and Wilco. It's also reminiscent of Beck's "Sea Change" and Lullaby for the Working Class' "Blanket Warm."

Seidel's high, gorgeous voice is accompanied by a laundry list of instruments including banjo, piano, Wurlitzer, steel chimes, trombone and quite possibly the basement sink. The seven band members are from a long list of past and present projects -- including The Promise Ring, New Sense and Camden.

"This is a very eclectic and talented group of guys and we will never hold each other down," says Seidel. "We make time for each other and enjoy that time together, but whatever happens outside the group is determined by the individual."

The clever band name is basically a joke between the members; what Seidel calls a stupid pun combining the words "decibel" and "bully."

"We thought it was funny since we started off writing quiet acoustic songs. Plus it's easy to search for on the Web since no one else is silly enough to use the name."

Currently, the band is on tour in Canada and the East Coast after only a two-week break from their West Coast tour. They will not perform in Milwaukee until some time this summer, but not due to lack of love.

"We don't want to over do it here," says Seidel. "Playing Milwaukee is always so much fun and really a time for celebration. We want to keep it exciting."

Decibully's Web site is

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.