From time to time we all like to indulge in a little emotional music and what better way to relive your teenage angst than with a new album from Death Cab for Cutie’s lead singer Ben Gibbard. The band who brought us seven delightful albums, featured on some of our favourite shows and films (The O.C., Twilight, Wedding Crashers) and engaged in duets with some of the coolest indie singers out there (Aimee Mann, Feist) have yet to catch their breath. The tour de force have been dropping albums and touring thick and fast since 1997 and show no signs of slowing down.
As for the lead singer and founder Ben Gibbard, he’s always been the heart and soul of the band and after a divorce with dream girl and Topshop favourite Zooey Deschanel (sob!) he clearly had plenty to write about. And so, Former Lives, his debut solo album was born and we were able to bathe in some serious melodic pop with just a little hint of heartbreak. It’s a unique twist on classic Gibbard with a handful of tunes that bring both smile-aching jolliness and lyrics that you could ponder over for hours. There’s a taste of the mariachi, a duet with the lovely Aimee Mann and a little guitar-glam in “Oh Woe.”
We were lucky enough to catch Gibbard at London’s most atmospheric space, Islington’s Union Chapel in which he ploughed through 26 songs both old and new. We can’t think of a better place to perform in his pure acoustic fashion and he took to the stage solo with just a guitar, piano and microphone for company. There was of course no trouble winning over his fans – one of whom shouted that it was the best night of his life! – and the besotted audience (us included) were treated to the likes of Such Great Heights as well as new releases such as Teardrop Windows below. The album isn’t especially ground breaking but then it doesn’t need to be, as long as he keeps his tunes sweet-sounding, his die hard fans (yes again, that’d be us) will be swooning over his music for many years to come.
Check out the lovely Ben Gibbard’s latest video, Teardrop Windows here…