So I’m trying this new thing. I’m listening to the album, Death Cab for Cutie’s newest, for the first time as I write this. Stream-of-consciousing it a bit.
So, this is pretty standard Death Cab, so far. I don’t mean that as a slight; I love what they usually do. I love Ben Gibbard’s voice, I love their hints of genres combining into one big indie melting pot of love. With the noticeable but not overwhelming drumbeats, the faint quasi-techno buzz that could go full rave if it was amped up but as is creates ambiance, the lyrics that aren’t particularly average, but at the same time not freakish what the hell.
Good intro, “Home is a Fire.”
And now onto the title track. Cute piano. Cute Ben Gibbard voice, dear lord Zooey Deschanel you’re a lucky woman. That the cover of this album, presumably going with said titular track, is a giant number key from a computer keyboard, well, it’s one of those things that sets my geeky heart aflame. Death Cab is perfect music for nerdlove. They always have been, they always will be. They’re reliable.
“Some Boys.” Now a serious business drumbeat, an audio-ly enhanced echoing sound almost, I’m digging on this. You hear girls sing about other girls and how they can or cannot love a lot, but somehow I feel like it happens less with boys? So this is welcome.
Now “Doors Unlocked and Open.” I sort of love the instrumental build-up. I love that these guys have such amazing instrumental build-up, and that they really take the time to craft it, that it’s not just “I’mma throw some power cords together before the epic verse and chorus and verse” like a lot of bands. It’s a minute thirty seconds in before the vocals come in. And that’s beautiful. Jam out, man. This is beautiful. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Ben Gibbard’s voice? It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect to me. It’s exactly what it needs to be.
“You Are a Tourist.” Vintage guitar, now. I’m not sure why it sounds vintage, but it so does. These guys always have a nice touch of vintage about them, but it’s not trying to be too much like any one old thing. It’s doing old things in a new way. More word-echoing, always love. Also, fire metaphors re: love, I’m a fan.
“Unobstructed Views.” Another monster intro, which I am digging on. This is more piano and less guitar, and being a weird sucker for indie piano, I am content. More than three minutes in before the singing kicks in this time round, and he’s doing that cool (again echo-ish) thing where he sort of sounds to me like he should be in space or something. Vaguest description ever, I know. When Ben Gibbard sings the word love, he makes me want to be in love.
“Monday Morning” has a fun 8-bit video game sound to the intro bars. Is it demented that I think of things in such terms? Probably. Hey, grind that guitar in, electrify it, man. This is an ode to geek girls, whether they meant that or not.
And now “Portable Television.” Oh-oh-oh-ing, drumbeats, cute lyrics. I’m again happy. So far, this album is making me very, very happy. Which I’m not surprised by, but earlier Death Cab albums (Plans, Transatlanticism) sort of bum me out in a good way. This is just boppy happy delight.
“Underneath the Sycamore.” Oh, the way Ben just sang “underneath the overpass” is classic, I’m so happy. I like when bands experiment with different things, but I like it when bands are secure enough that they keep finding new and interesting ways to grow on their sound that aren’t too earth-shatteringly weird. “A vengeful heart,” “your darkest rooms,” “find our peace.” Beautiful. Such pretty sounds coming out of that man’s mouth. “We are the same, we are the same,” I love this band. I love them so, so hard.
“St. Peter’s Cathedral.” I adore when songs are at least in part about a 85/15 ratio of vocals to instrument. I mean, I love instruments. But I love when vocals just sort of get to hang out and shine. And then the instruments kick in a little more, and a little more, and it does that cool building thing.
“Stay Young, Go Dancing.” This is cute, this is sweet, this is just… aw.
And I’m the OCD fan who has to get things off iTunes with bonus tracks, so, “Portable Television” demo. I love demos, always. I don’t know why, but I just do. That it’s not perfect is something awesome. “Some Boys” demo, same goes.
Yep, overall pretty perfect Death Cab bliss.
–your fangirl heroine.