Released: March 31, 2009
Label: Atlantic Records
By: Patricia Drew
The Grammy nominated indie rock band, Death Cab For Cutie, has released six studio albums and four EPs to date. Their most recent album, Narrow Stairs, was released on May 13, 2008.
From that recording session came four amazing songs didn’t quite fit the record’s overall sound. The fabulous four will soon be heard on the band’s third Atlantic Records release, The Open Door EP. The EP consists of four new songs, and the demo version of “Talking Bird.” Track one, “Little Bribes,” was first introduced as “Casino Blues” during lead singer Ben Gibbard’s solo acoustic tour with David Bazan in ’07. It had less of a “death cab feel” then, but guitarist and producer Chris Walla added his usual production spices to the mix, making it a tune that’s sure to be a tasty treat for most Gibbard fanatics. “A Diamond and a Tether” is a slower tune talking about a person holding onto a hope of a forever love from someone that never goes farther than standing on the edge. We all know someone like that at some point. But if you haven’t yet heard, Gibbard isn’t one of them. Zooey Deschanel, actress and singer for She & Him got her diamond and her tether around Christmas last year. Gibbard and Deschanel are engaged. I wonder if this song had anything to do with the leap.
Some might say that there’s a lot of strumming on the EP rather than the tender melodies that usually mimic Gibbard's vocals. “My Mirror Speaks” should tickle their musical pallet. With lyrics like, “there’s a tangled thread inside his head with nothing on either end,” sung to a contagious melody, it’s really hard not to join in on the chorus. “I Was Once a Loyal Lover,” the EPs last new track embodies a more poppy feel with a hard-hitting baseline and hazy guitar tones. The last track is one you’ve heard before, but never this down-to-earth. The demo version of “Talking Bird” is just Gibbard’s raw vocals with an accompanying ukulele. It’s really pretty, and a good one to close with reminding listeners of the sister LP Narrow Stairs.
This EP is well worth a measly $5. If you must go without lunch to purchase this, I promise this will satisfy your hunger far beyond any “No.3 with a diet coke.”