Death Cab For Cutie
Ben Gibbard describes Death Cab For Cutie's major-label debut, "Plans," as his band's most optimistic record to date. Yet old fans need not worry. This is an example of how Death Cab for Cutie does optimism: "Love is watching someone die."
"Plans," due this week via a long-term, worldwide deal with Atlantic Records, has not done away with the act's melancholy melodies and heartache-driven songs. While that lyric from album track "What Sarah Said" may be Gibbard's strongest affirmation of love to date, even happiness becomes sadly elegant in the hands of Death Cab For Cutie.
"I feel like this is more of an open, optimistic record, but there is a theme of mortality that floats through it," Gibbard says. "For me, I find myself being more obsessed with destinations and endings over the last couple years, even when something is going really well. I like the idea of having a love song about people dying rather than love songs about walking hand in hand down the sand."
Since it built its career and fan base on its own, the group has found itself tirelessly having to justify its jump to a major label from longtime indie home Barsuk. "There are opportunities available to bands on a major label that are incredibly difficult to attain for independent bands," Gibbard offers. "That's just the way things are. We can hem and haw about how we're not on the radio, and we can hem and haw about how our overseas situation was a nightmare. We were on five different labels in Europe alone, not to mention a label in Japan and Australia. So we can hem and haw about how difficult it all is, or we can take the plunge."