Death Cab For Cutie Biography

Review The Artist (21)

Source: by: Marvin Lin
Death Cab For Cutie-photo
Ben Gibbard .: vocals | guitar | organ | piano | and drums on We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
Chris Walla .: guitar | organ | electric piano | "things"
Nicholas Harmer .: bass
Michael Schorr .: drums (The Photo Album)
Nathan Good .: ex-drummer (Something About Airplanes, We Have the Facts, Forbidden Love EP)

1967 was a great time for music. There were many mediocre releases such as The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Jimi Hendrix' Are You Experienced?, The Doors' self-titled album, and The Velvet Underground's debut release. But underneath the creative din, lied a comedic masterpiece by a band dubbed the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. At the heart of their debut album, Gorilla, appeared a song called "Death Cab for Cutie." 30 years later, four men from Bellingham, WA were there to capitalize. (Hey, it could've been worse; other song titles on the album were "Jazz, Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold!" and "The Equestrian Statue.")

Originally created as a solo project, Ben Gibbard (who formerly recorded under the moniker All-Time Quarterback) recorded You Can Play These Songs' Chords with his friend/guitarist/keyboardist Chris Walla. Soon after, Gibbard recruited bassist Nick Harmer and drummer Nathan Good to round out a full-time band. From then on, Death Cab for Cutie has been anything but stagnant.

In 1999, Elsinor and Barsuk Records co-released Death Cab's first full-length album, Something About Airplanes. This album marked a departure from the pop ditties that used to grace Gibbard's songwriting; the songs were intricate and more somber than before. This album set the standard for all future Death Cab releases.

In 2000, the highly lauded We Have the Facts And We're Voting Yes was released on Barsuk. Death Cab once again placed themselves on a higher pedestal with a more engaging yet minimalist approach to songwriting, raising comparisons to Bedhead and Built to Spill. Just prior to the release of We Have the Facts, Good left the band and was soon replaced by Michael Schorr. The Forbidden Love EP was released later that year.

With two full-lengths and a solid EP under their collective belts, Death Cab had gained a bigger and stronger fan base; and their constant touring in support of these albums only strengthened their status in the indie-pop domain. 2001 saw the release of their third full-length, The Photo Album (Barsuk). With more focused songwriting and dynamic drumming, Death Cab take full advantage of the pop medium, never relying on studio tricks and experimental wankery to bring their message across.

When it comes down to it, Death Cab for Cutie is a pop band. But what separates them from the rest of the sheep is the pure emotion and genuine sincerity of each note. Their music awakens an emotional beast and evokes a feeling that only heartfelt songwriting coupled with amazing talent can produce.

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A Band of Genii | Reviewer: Adhit Sutresna | 1/28/10

Who knew that pop music could help with school? I first got into Death Cab when I had a project which had a theme entirely up to me - I chose to compose an EP. While searching for inspiration, I was reminded by a cover version of a song made by the band who also made "I Will Possess Your Heart". The cover was of "I Will Follow You Into the Dark", which I mistook for "I Will Possess Your Heart". 'Wait, this isn't the same song,' I thought. However, I was captivated by the sound and decided to give them a shot. And so the obsession begins.

The first song I fell for was "Title and Registration". I first heard it 5 months ago and is still my favourite. I then started exploring the rest of their extensive repertoire, especially their pre-Atlantic work. They are the first band that I found helped me in English class (I had practice by trying to comprehend their songs). This band is nothing short of awesome.

Epitome of Relationships | Reviewer: Kaiyla | 12/2/09

Well, I had heard about them a couple of times, but the name of the band sort of pushed me away. I was not aware of how mellow most their music was, so I discarded any interest. Then my boyfriend brought them up and I began growing curious. One night he quoted I Will Follow You Into the Dark- "the time for sleep is now, it's nothing to cry about, 'cause we'll hold eachother soon." This was one of many he quoted and I started to think, man I really need to listen to this band. Well one day I finally did, and I heard I Will Follow You Into The Dark and the intro chords really set the mood. I don't want to say that they are a depressing band to listen to, because I have become addicted. It's just that I hear them and feel sadness, but very happy at the same time because of the associations I have with them and my boyfriend as well as just the way their lyrics make you think about what they're really trying to say.
I have bought Narrow Stairs and hope to find Plans. This band is amazing.

Sorry, sleep deprivation makes you ramble :b | Reviewer: Sam | 7/19/09

Sorry, sleep deprivation makes you ramble. :b (at least it makes me...)

I haven't heard ALL Death Cab's music, but I plan on finding a way to listen as soon as I get out of this madhouse and get back home... Anyway, though, I've heard most of it, here's what I've got to say.
The first song I heard was Soul Meets Body. I remember this very well for some reason, a few years back when Plans came out, my mom got the CD and kept playing the song over and over and over and over and over... and over... so on... Not that I minded. Back then my mom had a good taste in music still, somewhat. Lol. Anyway this isn't about my mom's bad taste in music... uhh...
So, every once and awhile, Soul Meets Body would play, and then Summer Skin would. I remembered I liked it, but I woudn't hear it again for years. After about a year, mom stopped listening to the song (Soul Meets Body) so much. I didn't even know the name of this song, or the artist, but still remembered the chorus and the tune. So one time I asked her about it, and she told me the song title, the band's name. Another year or two after this, I got my iPod. I looked through my stepdad's (well he wasn't my stepdad yet, then, but whatever he was still living with us) iTunes library. (Dude, the guy has like 100GBs worth of just music.) Anyway, I was pleased to find Plans on there. I just put on Soul Meets Body, because apparently, I'm an idiot. And I was going through a little girly phase then I suppose... I mean it wasn't THAT bad, but... well...
Anyway, later that year, or maybe the next year, i had to get a new iPod for some reason or other. (I'm horrible at dropping things... though this I dropped rarest out of anything. I'm surprised my phone still works at ALL lol.) So later I had to put all the music back on the new one.
When I was going through all these many GBs of music, Death Cab caught my eye. Transatlanticism was on there, so I put it on my iPod. Again, though, I only put Soul Meets Body from Plans on there, because, again, idiot. I then ignored it for awhile, but when I got to listening to it, there were some songs I really liked. So I got The Facts after I fell in love with No Joy in Mudville, and then got Narrow Stairs after I was shown I Will Possess Your Heart by a few people I didn't even know knew DCFC existed. A song I wasn't even aware I'd heard by them was This Temporary Life. It's on the album Future Soundtrack for America, but the album isn't by them, it's a compilation of stuff. One of my... I guess you could call him a friend bought this CD, and they accidentally shipped him two, or so the story goes, so he gave one of the copies to my mom. And it just so happened there was a Death Cab song on it. After all this, I finally started listening to them more, and now it's one of my favorite bands.
Now, whenever I write, or just feel like lying there listening to music, or feel like staring out at the city at midnight, there's always a perfect song by Death Cab For Cutie to go with that moment.


Taking Back my Death Cab | Reviewer: Nathan | 12/19/08

I first got into the postal service in 2004, my freshman year of college, and loved it so much that I used it as a tool to get to know a girl. Figured if she wanted to get to know me she should know what kind of music I liked. Even earlier, a friend had given me a copy of Transatlanticism, but I ignored it because the electronic sounds of The Postal Service better caught my attention.
Well, when Plans came out in 2005, I picked it up and I have to say, it didn't strike me as amazing right off the bat, but it was good. Pretty soon, my girlfriend and I were listening to Plans everywhere we went and we discovered that Death Cab was our favorite band together, (really strange given these songs are not at all romantic).
After we broke up I got rid of everything, (and I do mean everything), that reminded me or her. At the top of this list was Plans and everything death cab related. We had gone to see two shows on the plans tour together, and it was just too hard to listen to them any more.
But something changed, and I realized that this band was too good to give up over a girl. Ben is a song-writing genius, Nick is a funk master, Jason is my favorite drummer of all time and Chris crafts a unique and awesome sound. They are the perfect storm of talent all wrapped up into one band.
I started playing my death cab albums over and over and discovered that they were even more useful as break-up soundtracks than they are for love. What a relief! Now I've expanded my library to include their early stuff and any of their side-projects or solo work.
Girls are easy to get over but I don't think I'll ever get over how much Death Cab for Cutie rocks.

more love to give | Reviewer: Julie | 6/29/08

My friend suggested i listen to soul meets body. i loved it. then i downloaded a few more, photobooth and transatlaticism. loved them. then i bought plans. never have i ever liked every song on a cd before. they are my favorite band of all time and im not sure any other will come even close. i saw them on thier narrow stairs tour. Ben has an incredible voice. My friend thought he was lipsynching. and i said no way. Ben wouldn't do that.

May is too far away . . . | Reviewer: Lynlee Brooke | 3/23/08

I first got into DCFC when Plans came out and quickly bought the whole back catalogue of albums. they became one of my favorites instantly. every song is so complex that with each listen you discover something new that had before been lurking below the surface . . . . .
I was driving when I first heard "I will possess your heart," the new track from "Narrow Stairs," on XM (Ethel-47 of course, one of the few good stations) & was blown away! they have promised another amazing album in May, and after hearing this epic (over 8 minutes long & worth every second!) ballad, I know we won't be dissapointed!

yaaay | Reviewer: Kelsey | 1/25/08

kay so, i was at friends house, after a night of partying, and she were laying in the bed, and she turned this music on. man i was so suprised how amused it made me, even tho its really soft music, with a really nice low beat. i was so impressed with it,
honestly, this is is like my favourite bedtime music.

Death Cab for Cutie | Reviewer: Ian | 1/2/08

A friend got me into Death Cab by secretly putting their album "We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes" on my iPod. I at first thought, "Hm. Wonder how this got on here. I don't like Death Cab for Cutie.". Well one night I got extremely bored with the music I had and remembered that that album was still on my player. I played through the songs and was immediately sold. I had a new favorite band.

After that I bought all their albums one after another, as well as the "John Byrd EP" which is an amazing live album. I am nothing short of amazed by these guys. If you haven't listened to them I would recommend picking up "Something About Airplanes" first just so you can begin with their basics (commonly unknown fact is that this is the band's first real album. "You Can Play These Songs With Chords" is actually just Ben Gibbard.).

With their most recent album "Plans" still popular among many music listeners and their other albums immensely influential among their indie-rock fanbase, I doubt we will see this band go away any time soon.

favorite band | Reviewer: laura | 12/11/07

death cab has been my favorite band for years now, a few summers ago i heard "crooked teeth", and i just wanted to hear more. After listening to "title and registration" i fell even more in love with the band. Now i listen to them, and postal service, along with Ben's solo works...he is amazing, and so are the others. wow

Get the old stuff | Reviewer: George | 12/8/07

I know almost everyone is familiar with Plans and Transalanticism, but you really need to check out their early stuff. You Can Play These Songs with Chords has a rawness to it that is great, and you get to hear where they started and how they have changed, there are some awesome songs on that album, like Line of Best Fit and This Charming Man. The other early album I recommend is We Have the Facts and we are Voting Yes, check the title track and For What Reason. They have an ipressive back catalog of songs for discovery by anyone who is just getting into their music. Please check it out.

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