Release of three singles from DCFC’s upcoming album promise a diverse “Kintsugi”.
By Croix Provence
For fans, Death Cab For Cutie’s loss of founding member Christopher Walla this past September was a big hit. How could it not be, with seventeen years under his belt with the band of his creation? I’m still mourning.
However, we must move on, as must the band. So far, it seems that they have, and they have done it well. During their recent show at Seattle’s Crocodile, Death Cab surprised the audience with three brand new songs off of their soon-to-release album “Kintsugi”. Watch out for that album’s release on March 31st, where you will find the three songs they debuted: “Black Sun”, “No Room In Frame”, and “The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive”. Each one brings it’s own unique feel, and promises a great CD release for the band.
Following the release of “Kintsugi”, Death Cab will set off to tour North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom.
“Black Sun” – Because of my short stint living there, I immediately felt that this song was about the lonely, shitty city that is Los Angeles. Strangely enough, after a little research, I found out that that’s exactly what this song is about. The intro starts with simple, inspirational guitar and some experimental low-key drums. As the layers add on, you can feel something special on the way. The chorus is so soft and lyrically profound, and then explodes in to an intergalactic and melancholy chorus that pulls you down in to the sadness of Los Angeles along with it. The accents throughout the song and the layers of guitar that present themselves sporadically take this from a good song, to an interesting and awesome piece of music. The breakdown featuring the electric solo admittedly feels a bit of out place at first, but its continuing subtle presence throughout the rest of the song ties it in nicely. Honestly, I am still getting shivers from these lyrics. The outro that fades on the words “How could something so fair be so cruel, when this black sun revolved around you?” leaves you feeling distant and alone. In my opinion, this song is wonderfully crafted in every respect. Not only is it musically and lyrically strong, but also it is very thought provoking and creates the isolated feeling that the singer must have experienced in Los Angeles. Well done, fellas, well done.
“No Room In Frame”– This song makes me feel so inexplicably happy. The drumbeat is like dance steps, the guitar notes are like sunrays, and his voice is warmth. By the time you hit the bridge, you feel sufficiently happy and unable to sit still. The light airy intro is unexpected. The lyrics softly trickle in over guitar, and it’s not long before the drums pick up in a heavy, rowdy beat. Even the musical interlude feels like you’re running around, playing in a sunny field. How did you do this, Death Cab? You’ve filmed an entire music video in my head, given me goose bumps, and pushed me out my front door, just to go on a walk and feel the world. I want to sit here and break this song down musically, instrument by instrument, lyric by lyric, but I just need you to listen to this one and feel it out on your own. Perhaps it’s just the version I heard, but the ending is a little too abrupt. Regardless this song can be summed up as warm, brief, and beautiful. Another win for Death Cab!
“The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive” – An upbeat and fun song on the surface, but the lyrics say otherwise. From what I’ve heard, this song is instrumentally very generic and a has typical vocal cadence. Compared to their two new songs, this one falls short in all categories where the others excel. Even as a stand-alone song, this feels like every other indie-rock song on the radio right now. Nothing defines this as a Death Cab song other than the people playing it on stage. While it is not poorly written or performed, it is not a memorable song.
For a sneak peek at their new CD, these three songs were a good look at the diversity that we have to look forward to in Death Cab’s upcoming music! Hopefully the rest of the release ends up being more along the lines of “Black Sun” than “The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive”. Though he has said his farewell, surely these songs have made Walla proud to be one of the talents to breathe life in to Death Cab For Cutie. If you want to check them out live, their world tour dates are listed here.
Croix Provence, abridged: Singer. Actress. Model. Dork. Snack enthusiast. Freelance writer. Music lover. Comic Con freak. Adrenaline junkie. Short sentence sorcerer. Follow @CroixProvence on Twitter and Instagram, and like Croix Provence on Facebook.