Posts Tagged With: Kintsugi

Death Cab for Cutie Live @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire (10/06/15)

American rockers from Seattle Death Cab for Cutie’s tour in support of their latest studio album ‘Kintsugi’ brings them to Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a venue filled earlier this year by Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Joined by Death Cab for Cutie in a supporting role are the wonderful indie-rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks, whose roaring and raucous rock style created a wonderful experience for all those there. Death Cab for Cutie themselves proceeded to put on a highly enjoyable show, one that failed to not connect with those who’ve grown up with the band over the years.

Death Cab for Cutie’s concert saw the band playing a nice range of tracks, a few spanning back to their very earliest years on Barsuk Records. Whilst the concert and tour was in support of ‘Kintsugi’, Death Cab for Cutie offered a wonderful selection of their old songs, intertwining them nicely with their newest material to create an enjoyable set-list. The energy flowed comfortably from the band, giving excitement and joy during the upbeat and fast-paced tracks, and bitter-sweetness during the more somber moments. Even with all the fame and fortune lead-singer Benjamin Gibbard has garnered over the years, everything still felt genuine and comfortable.

As known by fans of the band, the recording of ‘Kintsugi’ marked the last time founding member Chris Walla will work with the band. The concert itself featured some of Death Cab for Cutie’s best tracks, which were all played wonderfully, but it has to be said that the lack of Chris Walla does give the music a slightly disappointing element, as we know that little extra bit he brought to everything is sadly missing. In fairness to the rest of the band, they certainly pushed themselves to compensate for the lack of Walla, making it look almost easy. It is disappointing to not see Walla with the band, but most of Death Cab for Cutie is certainly better than no Death Cab for Cutie.

The bands’ performance at Shepherd’s Bush Empire was largely successful. Many of the tracks worked wonderfully, connecting to most of the audience members on some personal level, whether through good memories or even bad ones. It just feels as though Gibbard understands largely what makes everyone human, and knows how to present this through a musical format in a way that connects with everyone. Highlights include some very old songs from Death Cab for Cutie’s back catalogue, from ‘Company Calls’ to ‘Your Bruise’ from the bands’ first album, as well as some absolutely beautiful moments through the performance of ‘What Sarah Said’, ‘Passenger Seat’ and ‘Transatlanticism’ (of which closed the set). Arguably this might not be the absolute best concert from Death Cab for Cutie ever, but it is certainly one that is memorable for all its own reasons.


1: No Room In Frame

2: Crooked Teeth

3: Photobooth

4: Black Sun

5: Doors Unlocked And Open

6: The Ghosts of Beverly Drive

7: Title & Registration

8: Codes & Keys

9: Little Wanderer

10: No Sunlight

11: Company Calls

12: You’ve Haunted Me All My Life

13: What Sarah Said

14: I Will Follow You Into The Dark

15: El Dorado

16: You Are A Tourist

17: The New Year

18: Cath…

19: Soul Meets Body

20: I Will Possess Your Heart


21: Passenger Seat

22: Your Bruise

23: Marching Band of Manhattan

24: Transatlanticism

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Kintsugi – Death Cab For Cutie

Indie-rock band Death Cab For Cutie offer up their latest album ‘Kintsugi’, their first album in their long career featuring a different producer following on from the departure of member Chris Walla. On ‘Kintsugi’, we see Death Cab for Cutie offering up more of their quintessential and charming indie-rock music, partnering together lead singer Benjamin Gibbard’s introspective lyrical style with enjoyable instrumentals. In many ways, it’s a very typical Death Cab for Cutie album, featuring accessible and enjoyable tracks that are certain to become popular fan favourites, though there’s elements of experimentation here and there, showcasing the band as one who are always looking forward and making attempts to broaden their own style in any way they can. 

There’s a lovely element running throughout ‘Kintsugi’, which seems to push forward a forlorn and somewhat diminished perspective on love once again (differing from the bands’ previous 2012 album ‘Codes & Keys’). It seems thematically, things have taken a turn from the bands’ previous album effort, with Gibbard indulging much more in ideas and concepts previously explored on his earlier material, though this time with a much added level of maturity. Although we’ve heard these themes and ideas before, Gibbard pushes out his own ideas and themes with effortless ease, making everything sound natural, without really being forced upon the listener. 

Death Cab For Cutie have pushed out a rather enjoyable album effort with ‘Kintsugi’, which is offers up charm and moodiness in equal measures and both in accessible and enjoyable ways. Although there’s much that works well for ‘Kintsugi’, it seems certain parts of the album drag on somewhat, acting a little sluggishly on the overall palette being presented by the album itself. Whilst there’s many enjoyable and accessible tracks being presented by the band, it seems others don’t really match up all that well, sounding a little like filler material on an otherwise strong album.

‘Kintsugi’ might not be the strongest Death Cab For Cutie album, though it is certainly a step up from their previous album effort, offering up a lot more in terms of themes, concepts and ideas. Many of the elements being presented on the album work well, with the poorer tracks not impacting too greatly on the overall album experience (though it could certainly benefit from trimming here and there). It seems work with a new producer hasn’t impacted too greatly on Death Cab For Cutie’s overall sound, though will the departure of Chris Walla impact on the bands’ follow up album to ‘Kintsugi’?

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆ 3/5

Selected Songs:

  • No Room In Frame
  • Little Wanderer
  • Good Help (Is So Hard To Find)
  • Ingénue

Death Cab For Cutie’s eighth studio album ‘Kintsugi’ is out now.

Categories: Albums, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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