As the day comes closer for the long-awaited Death Cab For Cutie gig in London, I’ve fallen head first into their album backlog, or discography if you will. I have my favourite, as every Death Cab fan will, but an album I want to swim in each and every day recently is Kintsugi.
You could call the past few years a difficult and sad time for lead singer, Ben Gibbard, after his split with wife Zooey Deschanel and the departure of long-term Death Cab guitarist and producer Chris Walla. Kintsugi, is an exploration of every feeling I assume he has experience through this time. You could call it a break up album, or just a form of expressive therapy. Whatever it is, it’s a work of art and one of their best yet.
No Room In Frame gives not-so-subtle nods to Zooey Deschanel, as she’s the most Hollywoodesque figure in Gibbard’s life. Though the analysis of Death Cab lyrics is one of my favourite past times, I won’t get hung up on whether he’s sad about the split – let’s just assume he’s human, and probably has human feelings about a relationship breakdown. But, what I do love about the lyrics on Kintsugi as a whole, is the nostalgic honesty and to-the-point manner in which Gibbard has approached this album. Gibbard has a way of seeing things how other’s see them, yet still writes in the first person, which for the listener can bring sweet melancholy if there’s even a slight connection of the lyrics to your own life.
The Ghosts of Beverly Drive is your classic ‘is this about Gibbard or not?’ and to be honest it really doesn’t matter, because the picture he paints with the lyrics and melody is enough to make you believe it’s about you. There’s a certain rhythm and speed in Death Cab’s music, that as much as I can sit and listen to an album patiently, I can’t stay still with Kintsugi, especially when it comes to The Ghosts of Beverly Drive.
Many reviews I’ve read about Kintsugi leave a bitter taste in the mouth when they refer to it as a break up album. It’s a shame to see that people negatively judge where the inspiration for music comes from when it’s so emotionally charged like Death Cab, but when it lacks emotion suddenly it’s appreciated? Little Wanderer takes us back to a time when a relationship was happy, before everything went wrong but you feel you could do better. Hindsight is a bastard.
Black Sun is the first official release from the Kintsugi album, and what a introduction! There’s something about Black Sun that takes me back to my bedroom, in 2005, when consumed my entire life. Maybe it’s the bitter, ‘poor me’ vibe, or the simplistic, dark background melody that’s reminiscent of their older work.
What are your thoughts? What’s your favourite track on Death Cab for Cutie’s ‘Kintsugi’? Check out more of my music posts here.