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Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie's rise from small-time solo project to Grammy-nominated rock band is one of indie rock's greatest success stories. Launched in the bayside college town of Bellingham, Washington, the group was originally a side project for singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard, an engineering student at Western Washington University who split his time between school and music. Taking a break from his local power pop band, Pinwheel, Gibbard began recording an album's worth of solo material during the summer of 1997. Producer Chris Walla lent his help to the sessions, which resulted in an eight-song cassette entitled You Can Play These Songs with Chords. When the tape became a local hit, Gibbard reached into his circle of friends to form a band, hoping to play the new songs live. Bassist Nick Harmer (Gibbard's roommate) and drummer Nathan Good climbed aboard, and Walla enlisted as the band's primary guitarist (he would also go on to produce most of the band's future releases). With a lineup now in place, Gibbard's group rechristened itself Death Cab for Cutie (named after a song by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band) and signed a contract with the Seattle-based Barsuk Records within a year's time.

The quartet made its studio debut with 1998's Something About Airplanes, an album that featured several re-recorded tracks from the You Can Play These Songs with Chords cassette as well as a dreamy, pop-oriented sound reminiscent of Built to Spill. Gibbard and Walla both continued to pursue their own projects (including Gibbard's successful stint with the Postal Service), but that didn't keep Death Cab for Cutie from returning to the studio for a second album, We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes, which appeared in 2000. Nathan Good left the group just prior to the album's completion, and We Have the Facts introduced Michael Schorr as Death Cab's new drummer. The Forbidden Love EP arrived that same year, while a third full-length effort, The Photo Album, was released in 2001. By this time, a sizable audience had gathered around the band's emotional music, and Barsuk re-released You Can Play These Songs with Chords in 2002 with ten additional songs.

The polished, hook-laden Transatlanticism arrived in 2003 and announced the arrival of drummer Jason McGerr, who had previously played in a band with Nick Harmer before Death Cab's formation. The album also proved to be a very important step in the band's career, gathering positive attention from consumers and industry execs (including television producer Josh Schwartz, who prominently featured the band's music throughout several seasons of The O.C.). With their popularity at an all-time high, the bandmates issued a live disc, The John Byrd E.P., and later signed a worldwide major-label deal with Atlantic Records in November 2004.

Plans was released the following summer and debuted at number four, remaining on the Billboard charts for nearly one year and achieving platinum status on the strength of three singles (including the acoustic ballad "I Will Follow You into the Dark"). Death Cab for Cutie graced the cover of Spin magazine, appeared on an episode of Saturday Night Live, and earned a Grammy nomination for their major-label debut. Work on a follow-up album coincided with the release of Chris Walla's solo effort, Field Manual, and Death Cab returned in May 2008 with Narrow Stairs, a darker effort that debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. The band proceeded to tour throughout the remainder of the year, while a deluxe version of Something About Airplanes (which was packaged with a recording of their very first show in Seattle) was released in November to introduce newer fans to Death Cab's early material.

The band continued touring throughout the first half of 2009, hitting Japan and Australia as well as an additional slew of American venues. The Open Door EP arrived that spring, featuring several scrapped songs from the Narrow Stairs sessions and a demo version of "Talking Bird." The guys incorporated some of those songs into their live sets, all the while preparing to return to the studio after the tour's completion. After a short hiatus, they reconvened for 2011's Codes and Keys, which found the band relying less on the electric guitar and more on moody, Cure-inspired song textures. The single "You Are a Tourist" performed well on the rock and alternative charts, and the album peaked at number three in the U.S. Later in 2011, Death Cab released an EP of remixes of songs from the album titled Keys and Codes Remix EP.

Touring consumed much of 2012, although Gibbard found time to record and release Former Lives, his first official solo album. The band began recording in earnest for their eighth studio album in October 2013; in the summer of the following year, however, Walla announced that he was departing the band prior to its completion. Appearing in April 2015, it was named Kintsugi after the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery. Recorded for the first time with an outside producer (Rich Costey), it also marked a return to their core guitar-driven sound after the keyboard-led experiments of its predecessor. ~ Andrew Leahey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Kintsugi

1. No Room In Frame

2. Black Sun

3. The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive

4. Little Wanderer

5. You've Haunted Me All My Life

6. Hold No Guns

7. Everything's A Ceiling

8. Good Help (Is So Hard To Find)

9. El Dorado

10. Ingenue

11. Binary Sea

x

Track List: Keys & Codes Remix EP

1. Some Boys (Rac Maury Mix)

2. Doors Unlocked And Open (Cut Copy Remix)

3. You Are A Tourist (The 2 Bears Remix)

4. Underneath The Sycamore (Dillon Francis Remix)

5. Unobstructed Views (Unicorn Kid Remix)

6. Home Is A Fire (Ulrich Schnauss Remix)

7. Codes And Keys (Yeasayer Remix)

x

Track List: Codes And Keys

1. Home Is A Fire

2. Codes And Keys

3. Some Boys

4. Doors Unlocked And Open

5. You Are A Tourist

6. Unobstructed Views

7. Monday Morning

8. Portable Television

9. Underneath The Sycamore

10. St Peter's Cathedral

11. Stay Young, Go Dancing

x

Track List: The Open Door Ep

1. Little Bribes

2. Diamond And A Tether

3. My Mirror Speaks

4. I Was Once A Loyal Lover

5. Talking Bird (Demo Version)

x

Track List: Narrow Stairs

1. Bixby Canyon Bridge

2. I Will Possess Your Heart

3. No Sunlight

4. Cath

5. Talking Bird

6. You Can Do Better Than Me

7. Grapevine Fires

8. Your New Twin Sized Bed

9. Long Division

10. Pity And Fear

11. The Ice Is Getting Thinner

x

Track List: Plans

1. Marching Bands Of Manhattan

2. Soul Meets Body

3. Summer Skin

4. Different Names For The Same Thing

5. I Will Follow You Into The Dark

6. Your Heart Is An Empty Room

7. Someday You Will Be Loved

8. Crooked Teeth

9. What Sarah Said

10. Brothers On A Hotel Bed

11. Stable Song

x

Track List: Transatlanticism

1. The New Year

2. Lightness

3. Title And Registration

4. Expo '86

5. The Sound Of Settling

6. Tiny Vessels

7. Transatlanticism

8. Passenger Seat

9. Death Of An Interior Decorator

10. We Looked Like Giants

11. A Lack Of Color

x

Track List: You Can Play These Songs With Chords

1. President Of What? (1998 Version)

2. Champagne From A Paper Cup (1998 Version)

3. Pictures In An Exhibition (1998 Version)

4. Hindsight

5. That's Incentive

6. Amputations (1998 Version)

7. Two Cars

8. Line Of Best Fit (1998 Version)

9. This Charming Man

10. Tv Trays

11. New Candles

12. Tomorrow

13. Flustered / Hey Tomcat!

14. State Street Residential

15. Wait

16. Prove My Hypotheses

17. Song For Kelly Huckaby (Facts Version)

18. Army Corps Of Architects

x

Track List: The Stability E.P.

1. 20th Century Towers

2. All Is Full Of Love

3. Stability

x

Track List: The Photo Album

1. Steadier Footing

2. A Movie Script Ending

3. We Laugh Indoors

4. Information Travels Faster

5. Why You'd Want To Live Here

6. Blacking Out The Friction

7. I Was A Kaleidoscope

8. Styrofoam Plates

9. Coney Island

10. Debate Exposes Doubt

x

Track List: Forbidden Love (EP)

1. Photobooth

2. Technicolor Girls

3. Song For Kelly Huckaby

4. 405 (Alternate Version)

5. Company Calls Epilogue (Alternate)

x

Track List: We Have The Facts And We're Voting Yes

1. Title Track

2. The Employment Pages

3. For What Reason

4. Lowell, MA

5. 405

6. Little Fury Bugs

7. Company Calls

8. Company Calls Epilogue

9. No Joy In Mudville

10. Scientist Studies

x

Track List: Black Sun (Single)

1. Black Sun

x

Track List: Codes And Keys (Deluxe)

1. Home Is A Fire

2. Codes And Keys

3. Some Boys

4. Doors Unlocked And Open

5. You Are A Tourist

6. Unobstructed Views

7. Monday Morning

8. Portable Television

9. Underneath The Sycamore

10. St. Peter's Cathedral

11. Stay Young, Go Dancing

12. Portable Television (Demo Version)

13. Some Boys (Demo Version)

x

Track List: Codes And Keys: ITunes Pass

5. You Are A Tourist

x

Track List: Crooked Teeth EP

1. Crooked Teeth

2. World Shut Your Mouth

3. Talking Like Turnstiles

x

Track List: Doors Unlocked And Open (Cut Copy Remix) (Single)

1. Doors Unlocked And Open (Cut Copy Remix)

x

Track List: I Will Possess Your Heart (Radio Single)

1. I Will Possess Your Heart

x

Track List: ITunes Originals: Death Cab For Cutie

1. ITunes Originals

2. Soul Meets Body (ITunes Originals Version)

3. Death Cab Begins

4. Hindsight

5. One Take On Bellingham

6. Amputations (ITunes Originals Version)

7. A Top Five Song Of Ours

8. The Employment Pages (ITunes Originals Version)

9. An Early Heartbreak Song

10. 405 (Acoustic Version)

11. The Slow Fade From Holly To The Beaver

12. A Movie Script Ending

13. Underwater (ITunes Originals Version)

14. What Changed With "Transatlanticism"

15. The Sound Of Settling

16. A Series Of Hello's

17. Someday You Will Be Loved (ITunes Originals Version)

18. You Won't Be Alone

19. I Will Follow You Into The Dark

20. The Drive

21. Crooked Teeth (ITunes Originals Version)

x

Track List: Meet Me On The Equinox (Radio Single)

1. Meet Me On The Equinox

x

Track List: Narrow Stairs (Deluxe Version)

1. Bixby Canyon Bridge

2. I Will Possess Your Heart

3. No Sunlight

4. Cath...

5. Talking Bird

6. You Can Do Better Than Me

7. Grapevine Fires

8. Your New Twin Sized Bed

9. Long Division

10. Pity And Fear

11. The Ice Is Getting Thinner

12. No Sunlight (Demo)

13. I Will Possess Your Heart (Radio Edit)

14. Album Credits (As Read By Mike West)

x

Track List: Something About Airplanes

1. Bend To Squares

2. President Of What?

3. Champagne From A Paper Cup

4. Your Bruise

5. Pictures In An Exhibition

6. Sleep Spent

7. The Face That Launched 1000 Ships

8. Amputations

9. Fake Frowns

10. Line Of Best Fit

x

Track List: The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive (Tycho Remix) (Single)

1. The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive (Tycho Remix)

x

Track List: Transatlanticism (10th Anniversary Edition)

1. The New Year

2. Lightness

3. Title And Registration

4. Expo '86

5. The Sound Of Settling

6. Tiny Vessels

7. Transatlanticism

8. Passenger Seat

9. Death Of An Interior Decorator

10. We Looked Like Giants

11. A Lack Of Color

12. The New Year (Demo)

13. Lightness (Demo)

14. Title And Registration (Demo)

15. Expo '86 (Demo)

16. The Sound Of Settling (Demo)

17. Tiny Vessels (Demo)

18. Transatlanticism (Demo)

19. Passenger Seat (Demo)

20. Death Of An Interior Decorator (Demo)

21. We Looked Like Giants (Demo)

22. A Lack Of Color (Demo)

x

Track List: You Are A Tourist (Remix Single)

1. You Are A Tourist (The 2 Bears Remix)

Comments

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The ghosts of Beverly drive
Reminds me of dipper from gravity falls for some reason xD
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Seen em live, they were incredible!! !
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Roman rule wasn't that bad. yes they had slaves but so did everyone back then. Egyptians were the real bad ones making all the Jews build pyramids.
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alfredjdenig r i s
Absolutely Excellent!
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Omg:( this song just makes me want to cry this song just holds so much feelings love this song
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I love your music keep it up
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*gives*
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I will follow you into the dark givwea me feels.
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csaffel
Their different then everything else. Unique
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Its nothing to cry about
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pooker1000
I remember climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and Transatlanti c i s m was on my playlist, as I went up the side of the volcano on summit day. It was the perfect pace for an epic climb, and I'll always think of that summit when I hear this song.
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Hippiej19239 is a tard
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Loveth
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Have the the. Right now have. The the right now have to. The the right now the the. Now have
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I could listen to them all day
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<3
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New to Death Cab For Cutie, quickly becoming a favorite.
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Mitochondria is the power house of the cell
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Loveeeeeee
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love this song
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I will follow you in to the dark!
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I love this song!
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Very impressed with them
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Not impressed with them
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Such a soothing voice
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I love his voice
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davidaschult e
Hl
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This song" grapevine fires" Is very touching to the hidden parts of ourselves-- fires outta control and not being able to do anything about it!!
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Title and Registration and Cath are great songs.
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DIg their musica
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K guys what do these guys sound like
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love this band
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don't like this genre
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Lovelovelove l o v e l o v e l o v e l o v e l o v e l o v e them. Been listen to them for my entire life. Passenger seat. What sarah said. Diamond and a tether. Crooked teeth was my first dcfc song ever and I fell in love with the video...lmao luv you
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terynbway
Death Cab For Cutie!
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prreeetttyyy y swweeeeeettt
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Awesome band. I love death cab for cutie.i loved them since I was just 2 .i am 7 years old now.
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Such a fantastic band.
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Death cab for cutie is the best band ever.Ben gibbard to the is the best singer ever. I sing too. I am a little girl. I am 7.my name is Shylah. I love follow me in to the dark. If you don't like Death cab for cutie that means you're not a good friend of mine.I love singing so much.music is a job I have .

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Death cab for cutie is the best ever
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F6
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I was at their show in Tokyo in 2009! They were amazing.
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walksinwater 7
Best indie rock song. The beat and harmony are beautifully synced. Just love it.
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Good, I'm glad you like this good song, that's very good! v
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dxroland
I love the song. It is very good I found a lot of good things
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dclee2
My favorite, very relaxing. Best 8 minutes of life lol
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i like their songs like, a lack of color and i will possess your heart
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Brings me back, this is how life really is.
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xhidden99
only one of their songs' that's bearable.
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Title and Registration made me think deeply about life the first time I heard it. And I wanted to start a protest about falsely acclaimed things.
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