In honor of my favorite band, and since I am going to their concert this Sunday at Merriweather, my initial music playlist that I am sharing is my top ten Death Cab for Cutie songs. Granted it was extremely hard to whittle this down to ten songs, but I tried to capture the essence of the band, and songs that will appeal to new listeners.
I started listening to the band sometime around 2003, when I first heard the song “A Lack of Color” on the show The O.C. (yes, I watched this show, I truly identified with Seth Cohen for a long time due to his indie music tastes, comic book loving, his unrequited love interests, and sarcastic wit. He was basically my TV clone. I am still waiting on royalties however.) He also had a poster of the album Transatlanticism in his bedroom. The song was only played for about 30 seconds during the show, but I was immediately struck by the lyrics. I jumped online and downloaded the album (Legally, of course. ) The rest has been a love affair. So now, let me introduce you to the band, start your own conversations with them, and maybe your own little fling.
In no particular order, my Top Ten follows:
- (A Lack of Color -mp3) – The song that started it all. The lyrics were and still are simply breathtaking to me. Pure poetry about a past relationship and its aftermath. I think the basic concept of whether your head or your heart is the one you should follow is a theme most everyone can relate to.
- (Passenger Seat – mp3) - There is something about the simplicity of the lyrics/music and the honest feeling in his words that gets to me. I have enjoyed similar feelings while on road trips with my own sweetheart, and that sensation where nothing else matters, just being together. Pure love where you can sit in silence together and enjoy it. Ask the stupidest questions, and not care.
- (I Will Follow You Into The Dark -mp3) - Most of their songs are definitely melancholy but hopelessly romantic at the same time. This song epitomizes that theme. Ben has stated, “…what if somebody dies and we’re just floating, just stumbling around in infinite darkness?” The belief of an everlasting love, and connected soul mates is so optimistic, and a feeling of peace to be with your love forever, no matter where you end up after death.
- (What Sarah Said -mp3) - This song describes to me a certain aspect of love. It reminds me of a time when my father was going through his cancer/treatments/sickness. It encompasses a moment in my life that, although grief-stricken, was also very much about love. The love of holding on to someone, of being there for them, of sharing each and every moment with them. Good or bad.
- (You Are A Tourist – mp3) - A song that lifts me up when I hear it. The upbeat melody and lyrics, which I interpret as go and follow what is burning in your heart, take that feeling and embrace it, do what feels right. Don’t get complacent. You need to fuel your desires and hopes. Take a risk on your heart and see where it leads, as there are many places you can call home (physically and emotionally). I envision home as somebody’s heart.
- (I Will Possess Your Heart – mp3) - Ben’s version of boy wants girl, but girl doesn’t want boy, yet. Again, everyone has lived through this at least once, a little unrequited love which you hope will eventually turn into reciprocal love. The intro is long (2-3 minutes of jamming), but bear with it, and once the lyrics kick in, you will be hooked.
- (Stay Young, Go Dancing – mp3) - A simple love song about how love makes you feel. Most people think it’s about his new wife, Zooey Deschanel, which I agree with as it is more uplifting than most of his songs before he got married. A song about the feeling you get and how you want to hold onto it forever.
- (Transatlanticism – mp3) – Another of Ben’s doomed relationship songs, he uses the physical description of water taking over his world to illustrate the growing emotional distance between him and his lover. The refrain at the end where he simply repeats “I need you so much closer” over and over always slays me.
- (Marching Bands of Manhattan – mp3) - One of my favorites (obviously, or it wouldn’t have made the list). I love that you can interpret this song many ways. My version is boy loves girl, would do anything for her, doesn’t care who knows it, she is his sunshine who opened his eyes to love. However, she is wary of love (due to previous issues), and he is telling her that if she doesn’t do something soon, this love is going to drown due to her indecision. Very awesome and picturesque lyrics to tell someone that you love them and they need to take the chance before it’s too late.
- (Title and Registration – mp3) - I think this is a song most people can understand. You have that past relationship where through no fault of anyone, just faded away. But it seems there are always things that remind you of the relationship in unexpected places, and cause you to think about it. Understated Death Cab song, but personal reasons have me placing it in the top ten.
There you have it. I hope there is one song that speaks to you, and starts you on that journey with the band that I started 8 years ago. If not, thank you for traveling with me on my own retrospective journey. Download links to each mp3 are embedded in the title of each song, so if you did enjoy one, right-click and save target as to your computer.
Thanks for listening.