At age 42, Ben Gibbard still knows how to sing sad and stubborn melancholy songs for 21-year-olds longing for the ‘easier’ days when they were 18. Formed in the late ’90s, Gibbard’s band ‘Death Cab for Cutie’ is known for their woeful sound and uniquely dejected lyrics. The band gained mainstream popularity in 2005 with the song ‘I Will Follow You into the Dark’. 13 years later, the band has released their ninth studio album, ‘Thank You For Today’. Upon listening, I immediately noticed the apparent improvement from Death Cab’s 2015 release ‘Kintsugi’ (an album named after the Japanese art of fixing cracked pottery, so you know it’s boring). ‘Thank You for Today’ begins with smooth, relaxing synth in the track ‘I Dreamt We Spoke Again’, a slow song about dreaming of someone that once was significant in your life, but is now gone. The record gains speed in the song ‘Summer Years’ before swinging into the album’s first single ‘Gold Rush’, a song about a cute city that lost its charm after a gold rush drove rapid urban growth. “I have seen Seattle change so rapidly over the last 20 years” Gibbard told NME in an interview on the origin of the song. “The rise of the tech industry, the shifting demographics, the landscape, the skyline, and creative communities and people of color being pushed out. It’s becoming a fairly monochromatic city, even more so than it was before.” Despite sampling a song from rock music’s mortal enemy, Yoko Ono, ‘Gold Rush’ feels like an instant classic. It’s the kind of song you expect to be played on repeat for months on end by every Alt Rock station in the country. Past this point, the album is generally uneventful with the exception of ‘When We Drive’ and ‘Autumn Love’, both catchy and unique in their own way. After 10 tracks, the record comes to a close with the slow piano song ’60 & Punk’. This album deserves a lot of praise, ‘Thank You For Today’ is proving a new, more modern era for Death Cab For Cutie. My only wish would be to add bigger, louder moments in the album, it’s almost entirely relaxed, which can make it hard to listen to in one sitting. Generally, I’m excited to see whats next for Gibbard and the Gang. If we could only get him to do another Postal Service record. . .
Thank You For Today | Death Cab For Cutie
4.0On repeat for a week