Death Cab for Cutie: “Kintsugi”


Death Cab for Cutie all grown up: A Kintsugi review

[Atlantic, 2015]

by Amanda Luberto


Death Cab for Cutie has been the go to coming-of-age band for everyone in their 20s for their extensive 17-year long recording history. But what happens to the coming-of-age band when they’ve grown up? Ben Gibbard’s soothing voice narrates the new album with his tales of mid-life heartbreak after the band’s split with their producer Chris Walla and his even more recent divorce from actress Zooey Deschanel.

At first listen, the album sounds like it is lacking that Death Cab sound that was so popular and comforting in Transatlanticism (2003) and Plans (2005). Songs that express the emptiness of the long distance longings Gibbard was feeling in his younger years are no longer what can be heard in the an album as complex as Kintsugi (2015). The sound is much deeper and more modern, think more “I Will Posses Your Heart” and less “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” but that is exactly what is to be expected by someone who has 10 or more years worth of experiences between the albums.

The first released single “Black Sun” was catchy with it’s dark guitar parts and caught the attention of many being the first music release from the Washington band since 2011. But to judge the entire album off of that single song would be premature and ultimately incorrect. The album starts off with “No Room in Frame” which dawns the line “Was I in your way when the cameras turned to face you/ No room in frame for two,” which is, of course, a direct line at Deschanel, addressing their issues with her fame which eventually tore them apart.

Despite no longer being the voice for every 20-year-old trying to stumble their way into adulthood with all of their new adult fears and insecurities, Death Cab will always speak to the lost and the loved. It’s good to see Ben Gibbard producing work that is meaningful once again after the heartless attempt in Codes and Keys (2011). This album has the link that the band had been missing and it’s almost safe to say, I’m glad you’re sad again Ben because you create truly poetic work. Kintsugi is released internationally on March 31st but is available to stream on

Feature songs:

  • Everything’s a Ceiling
  • Ingenue
  • Little Wanderer