Death Cab for Cutie

It's been a very busy couple of weeks and despite a downloads folder full of tunes ready to be explored from Mike, Simon and Kev (P), it has also be a musically blinkered couple of weeks.

I've been listening to Death Cab for Cutie pretty much on repeat. The albums of choice being Plans, Narrow Stairs and Transatlanticism.

The reason is down to being overwhelmed by life. Deadlines for my first two submissions for my two current modules of my MSc.; trying to get the recording of The Credits new demo sorted so that we can get ourselves out there gigging; my other half preparing for competition down at the AIRC festival in Stradbally last weekend and let's not even think about how busy work is or the fact that any time I'm sitting down trying to study, ideas for the novel keep interrupting me and the need to play guitar and write songs gets more intense than ever!

The upshot is that I'm knackered, sunburnt, hayfever ridden, scared of everything, song weary and desperate for some raw relaxation. Wheel in Death Cab for Cutie please.

These guys write some of the most chilled, melancholic pop I've ever heard. Plans is a simply beautiful album; Soul Meets Body is bouncing and hopeful when the hard-panned "ba ba ba ba ba ba" (left) and acoustic guitar (right) kick in while Summer Skin is downbeat and mournful.

I listened to What Sarah Said on the bus tonight as it trundled along Clonkeen Road in Deansgrange and was thankfully taken far far away from the smelly fucker sitting in front of me with his rapidly escaping and body odour infused selfosphere to an introspective, story driven tunescape - that this song then goes straight into another equally as strong (Brothers on a hotel bed) was further welcome relief in the lashing rain in the walk home from the bus stop.

I'm not going to go into any detail on Transatlanticism or Narrow Stairs - suffice to say they both pick up the progression nicely. You can really feel this band grow over time - the music matures and gets a little more edgy and more consumable simultaneously. All I'll say is that The New Year is a fantastic tune to open an album with - ridiculously huge stereo spread on the guitars and for a split second it feels like it's going to be Doves - Lost Souls. "I Will Possess your Heart" shows that maturity I was talking about, musicians comfortable with each other.

Lastly, what the hell does the little guitar lick in Transatlanticism itself remind me of?? - it's straight out of another track.. can't remember what the hell it is though.

If you aren't familiar with Death Cab for Cutie, I highly recommend checking these guys out. The slightly mournful tunes have a surprising way of raising spirits. Even if you are in Santa Carla, I urge you to listen to these guys on a grey, rainy day in Dublin (Ireland, that is).

They'll be touring the UK in July - no Ireland on the schedule I notice. That's a real shame.


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