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Atlantic recording group Death Cab for Cutie has announced an array of activity surrounding the release of their much-anticipated eighth studio album, including the first leg of their upcoming North American headline tour, with a performance at Northrop. Special Guests will be The Antlers. “KINTSUGI” arrives everywhere on March 31. The album is available for pre-order here. “KINTSUGI” follows 2011’s GRAMMY® Award-nominated “CODES AND KEYS.”
The upcoming performances will see the core membership of singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard, bassist Nick Harmer, and drummer Jason McGerr augmented by new touring members Dave Depper (Menomena, Fruit Bats, Corin Tucker, Ray Lamontagne) and Zac Rae (My Brightest Diamond, Fiona Apple, Lana Del Rey, Gnarls Barkley), both of whom will contribute additional guitars and keyboards. The band played their first show since the departure of founding member Chris Walla last week in their hometown of Seattle at The Crocodile Café. The Seattle Weekly hailed, “The onstage chemistry between original members singer/guitarist Gibbard, bassist Nick Harmer, drummer Jason McGerr, and the new players was surprisingly heartfelt; the vibe felt as if they had been jamming together for years, and it showed in how beautifully they riffed off of each other during the set’s numerous instrumental solos.”
Recorded in Los Angeles with Rich Costey (Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Interpol) behind the board, “KINTSUGI” takes its title from the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum, highlighting cracks rather than hiding them. As such, kintsugi represents a compassionate aesthetic philosophy in which damage and wear are embraced as part of an object’s history.
“Considering what we were going through internally, and with what a lot of the lyrics are about, it had a great deal of resonance for us – the idea of figuring out how to repair breaks and make them a thing of beauty,” says bassist Nick Harmer, who suggested the name to Gibbard and McGerr. “Philosophically, spiritually, emotionally, it seems perfect for this group of songs.
The spirit of “KINTSUGI” inspired a recent Instagram campaign in which Gibbard painted the lyrics to “Black Sun” onto a canvas before splitting the piece into 33 individual pieces. Those unique images were then sent at random to 33 unsuspecting Death Cab for Cutie fans who had previously put up their own photos inspired by the band’s lyrics (#dcfclyrics). Over the next week, recipients posted pieces of Gibbard’s fragmented canvas, culminating in today’s reveal of the reunited “Black Sun” lyric. The finished work can be viewed now at blacksun.deathcabforcutie.com and instagram.com/deathcabforcutie.
For nearly two decades, Death Cab for Cutie has been hailed as one of contemporary music’s most compelling and creative collectives. Born in Bellingham, Washington in 1997, the band followed a long relationship with the Seattle-based independent label, Barsuk, by making their Atlantic Records debut with their fifth studio release, 2005’s “PLANS.” The album proved Death Cab for Cutie’s popular breakthrough, earning RIAA platinum certification as well as spawning the chart-topping singles, “Soul Meets Body” and “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.” The latter track was honored with a GRAMMY® nomination as “Best Pop Performance By Duo Or Group With Vocals,” with “PLANS” receiving the nod as “Best Alternative Album.” “DIRECTIONS,” the 2006 DVD companion to “PLANS,” earned an additional GRAMMY® nod as “Best Longform Music Video.”
Now fully affirmed as an era-defining band, Death Cab for Cutie made a stunning #1 debut atop the SoundScan/Billboard 200 with 2008’s RIAA gold certified “NARROW STAIRS.” More critical acclaim and two further GRAMMY® nominations followed, including nods for “Best Alternative Album” and “Best Rock Song” (honoring the hit single, “I Will Possess Your Heart”). “THE OPEN DOOR” EP was released in 2009, earning DCfC a third consecutive GRAMMY® Award nomination for “Best Alternative Album.” “CODES AND KEYS” arrived in 2011 and made a top 3 entry on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 before receiving the band’s fourth straight GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Alternative Music Album.” “You Are A Tourist,” the album’s first single, also proved a multi-format radio smash, reaching #1 at both Triple A and Modern Rock outlets nationwide – Death Cab for Cutie’s first-ever #1 at the latter format.
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