The indie folk-rockers came to prominence when their last album, The King is Dead, topped the Billboard charts. Known for literate, historically based songs, the band comes by its bookishness honestly: frontman Colin Meloy is the author of young fantasy novels, all illustrated by his wife, Carson Ellis. Now on tour with a stop in Toronto Mar. 30, the Decemberists keep up their storytelling ways on their seventh album. Along with the hit “Make You Better,” it features the horn-fueled “Calvary Captain” and the string-laden “Philomena.” The album takes its title from the stark “12-17-12,” a response to the Newtown school shootings. “I was hit by a sense of helplessness,” explains Colin, “but also [Obama’s] message of ‘Hold your family close.’” A father himself, the Decemberists’ singer has crafted another fine collection of moving, thoughtful songs.