Hi folks, Neil here. I thought it would be a cool idea to share with you on a weekly basis the Artists and Albums that we’re listening to at a given moment. Whether its old classics that we keep returning to for inspiration, or new discoveries that we can’t wait to share on our Instagram stories (or in this case a blog). Each member of the band has been given the task to search through their Spotify lists to find an album to write about. We will be taking turns to lay bare our thoughts and feelings about a particular album that we're into and we’ll also be creating a Spotify playlist and adding songs we recommend from the albums we discuss each week.
Please feel free to leave a comment about our choices, or even tell us what you’re listening to that you think we may like.
Thanks so much.
Band Member: NEIL
Artist: DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
Album: THANK YOU FOR TODAY
Release Date: August 17 2018
Okay, I should start by clarifying, as the first choice for this segment of the blog, this is a wee bit of a cheat option. Technically as I write this, (Aug 16th 2018) this album, which is Death Cab’s ninth, has yet to be released. It does in fact come out tomorrow. The reason I’ve chosen it is because for the last few days you could stream the full album on NPR’s First Play Section, which I have been doing … on repeat!
Like many others in the early naughts, I discovered Death Cab from the fabulously exotic TV show The OC (it seemed rather exotic to this milky white kid, living in a rain drenched Edinburgh, Scotland). Soon after hearing their song Lack of Color from the OC soundtrack (also on their Transatlanticism album), I hastily ran out and spent my hard earned £14 on their new release at the time, Plans. This was 2005 before streaming was a thing and you had to take a gamble on an album being any good… and it was. It still stands as one of my all time favourites.
Anyways, getting back to THANK YOU FOR TODAY, the reason I chose this is album is because even though they’re without long time member/producer Chris Walla, this still has the quintessential Death Cab sound. From the first single Gold Rush, a song about how singer Ben Gibbard’s Seattle neighbourhood Capitol Hill has been changing at a rapid speed, with local haunts closing down and being replaced by generic condominiums, to the opening guitar riff of third single Autumn Love. A song with a chorus melody that to long time fans, is classic Death Cab. This album has a reminiscent note of their earlier work. This could be attributed to the fact that Ben Gibbard has gone back to playing thinner necked guitars such as the Fender Bullet and the Fender Jaguar, guitars which he played in the early days of the band.
Gibbard is one of my favourite modern day lyricists. He often paints such a visceral picture with his words. I love his description in 60 & Punk, the last song on the record, of an anonymous musical hero of his, who in their alcoholic days appeared far more human than the built up Superhero young Gibbard had created in his mind.
I also want to mention drummer Jason McGerr. As a drummer, I love how Jason manages to play more complex and inventive drum beats over the simplest of songs, for example check out the opening beat to Summer Years, track two from TYFT, or the half-time shuffle he plays on Grapevine Fires from the aforementioned Plans LP.
All in all, I think THANK YOU FOR TODAY is a great addition to the already expansive discography that Death Cab hold, its also a great place for a new listener to start as it branches the blend of old and new.
Further listening: Gold Rush, Autumn Love, 60 & Punk, Grapevine Fires.