Death Cab for Cutie’s Kintsugi

Kintsugi, Death Cab for Cutie’s eighth studio album, is set to be released on March 31, 2015. The album features 11 new tracks and guitarist, Chris Walla’s last album with the band.

The album’s sound and lyrics are reminiscent of songwriter and lead vocals Benjamin Gibbard’s earlier work. The instrumentals are upbeat, yet the lyrics are depressingly snarky as times. Many have speculated that multiple tracks on the album were written about Gibbard’s recently estranged ex-wife, Zooey Deschanel.

Gibbard and Deschanel met through their shared sound, Deschanel was the female vocals in She & Him. Gibbard attributed their dating as “love at first sight” and they were married for two years. However, Deschanel filed for divorce in December, 2011. The actress told interviewers that the split was amicable, but there are various Kintsugi tracks that beg to differ.

With lyrics like, “Was I in your way/When the cameras turned to face you?/No room in frame/For two” (“No Room In Frame”),  it seems that there are still some unresolved feelings on Gibbard’s part. The reason for their split is still unknown, but many have speculated that Gibbard’s loathing of the Hollywood environment and the details of fame combined with Zooey’s growing popularity as an actress may have been the breaking point.

Other lyrics showcase sadness over the breakup and of course provide the quintessential depressing DCFC vibe. “But when you climbed out you pulled the ladder and it left me stranded/So what am I supposed to do?/I’m calling out to you/But you’re miles away, it’s true/Digging with someone new” (“Everything’s a Ceiling”). In this track, Gibbard eloquently relates the process of falling in and out of love to digging a deep hole with your lover. In the beginning the hole is something to celebrate, as you dig together. Eventually, however, one digger leaves the whole and takes the ladder, leaving the other stranded. The hole then becomes a prison, where the lonely lover must remain. The lyrics are stunning, as usual, showcasing Gibbard’s hopelessly romantic mind.

Death Cab for Cutie is currently touring and while you wait for the album to be realeased, you can stream Kintsugi for free on NPR.com.