Death Cab for Cutie, originally founded in 1997 and releasing their first full album in 1998, is a band consisting of four members: Ben Gibbard as the vocalist, Chris Walla, who is the lead guitarist, Nick Harmer on bass, and Nathan Good as the drummer. Together they form this alternative rock band. Alternative is a nice word, because it is difficult to put one label on them. They are not so big in the music picture, at least not amongst the young, but after listening to some of their music I must admit that I think it is a shame.
Their sound is not bound by one category but can easily fit into a lot of different ones, however this also means that their music is not always the same, so you will maybe experience only liking some of the songs on their album, but that is just how it is with this kind of freedom. This is especially evident in their song “Black Sun”, released on 26th of January, 2015, as the lead single on their new album Kintsugi. The song starts out with a very prominent guitar sound, which actually follows it all the way through. This gives life to a captivating sound, almost funky. The vocalist, Ben Gibbard, contributes to this perfectly with his clear, emotional voice. Somehow he manages to almost act out the lyrics with only his voice, specifically in the line “When this black sun revolved around you!”. The way he sometimes drags out either the words or the space in between creates a loaded atmosphere which really gives you the opportunity to feel and revel in his deep vocals.
Listening to this song gives you a feeling of justice and revenge. You can almost imagine how you stand on a deserted field, finally telling someone the truth and once again ceasing new hope. This is also emphasized in the lyric, “and there’s a song yet to be sung.” The clean guitar sound is broken once in the last third of the song, where you suddenly are thrown a bit off guard, but instead of breaking the buildup atmosphere I feel like it only further pushes you out into space.
Surprisingly I actually really enjoy this song. Both the depth of the lyrics and how the instruments harmonize with the front singer’s voice creates a feeling that you have just overpowered some great force. It is nothing like most of the music we hear today, much less mechanical and processed. The song is in a category all on its own, perfectly fitting into the before mentioned alternative box. There it rests with other artists such as Panic! at the Disco, which is also an alternative rock band. The front singer of Panic!, Brendon Urie, has a voice which reminds me a bit of Ben Gibbard’s. They both sing with such passion and fineness, so after checking Death Cab for Cutie out, definitely try and give Panic! at the Disco a go.
Based upon all of this, I have decided to give this single 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is solely based upon this one song. Overall I really want to praise it, because I truly find it captivating, however I still had to listen to it a couple of times before really falling in love, and I sometimes find it a bit uniform, as they more or less repeat the same instrumentals. If you are a fan of a clean, distinct sound with vibes of funk, pop and rock, and a passionate voice, this song, and maybe even this band, if definitely something for you.