When we caught up with Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard last month to let him vent about the harm Gov. Gregoire is trying to do to the ferry system, he let fly a few details about his band's forthcoming record, Codes & Keys, which is due later this year.
Here are five of the highlights:
1. They experimented with some new sounds. Chris has brought in a lot of different-sounding analog keyboards that are not necessarily the basis of the record--it's not as if the whole thing sounds like Depeche Mode or anything like that--but he did a lot of really creative things with how he's presenting some of those sounds.
2. There will be strings. "For the first time on a couple [tracks] we hired some strings to do some interesting string arrangements."
3. Where 2008's Narrow Stairs was dark, Codes brings warmth. "There are moments that it feels unsettled, but at the same time there are some very kind of warm moments on it that I think may take people a little bit by surprise. But it's certainly not . . . It's not 'Shiny Happy People.'"
4. They flirted with more extended jams this time around. "I feel like there is a very good balance between kind of expansive, meditative kind of songs and some tunes that are kind of shorter and very much right to the point. I think this record also knows when it's important just to keep it short and to the point."
5. The band made the record together in the studio, but they now longer live in the same city. "Chris and Nick are in Seattle. Jason moved back up to Bellingham. I'm living down in Los Angeles. We don't get to spend as much face time as we once did in our younger years when we were like a gang all the time."