For Ben Gibbard, 2003 marked a year where his side project band, The Postal Service, made their explosive debut, Death Cab for Cutie released their monumental record “Transatlanticism.” A decade since both albums were released, Gibbard reunited and dismantled The Postal Service, briefly married actress Zooey Deschanel and made three more albums with DCFC. Recently, the band has taken to social media with Instagram to document the studio progress on their eighth LP.
However, DCFC have decided to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their album by performing it in its entirety at the Bumbershoot Festival and releasing a re-mastered deluxe version of the record, along with the original demo versions of all 11 tracks.
Though it wasn’t a shift for the band in terms of songwriting or tonality, the album saw the band find a niche that defined the record less as individual songs, but as one collective piece of music.
Tracks like “The New Year,” “We Looked Like Giants” and the ubiquitous “The Sound of Settling” made the band known for an arena rock sound with the dual guitar attack of Gibbard and Chris Walla, underscored by the rhythm combo of Jason McGerr who makes his first drumming appearance on this record, and Nick Hamer on bass.
At the most paper-thin level of sensitivity, the lyrics almost come off as bitter with Gibbard wistfully singing “You are beautiful but you don’t mean a thing to me” on “Tiny Vessels,” but then chants the painfully resonant “I need you so much closer” on “Transatlanticism.” The band contrasted their layered sound on their next album, “Plans,” by emphasizing piano/acoustic guitar on tracks like “A Lack of Color” and “Title and Registration,” which combined with Gibbard’s choirboy vocals, making two of the most emotionally vivid records of their career.