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Ben Gibbard Previews Death Cab’s Spring Album

Hear the singer's spare version of the title track from their upcoming album, plus his solo contribution to the Arthur soundtrack.

Kevin O'Donnell // March 4, 2011

At the San Francisco Noise Pop Festival, Ben Gibbard delivered one of the most talked-about sets by previewing material from Death Cab for Cutie’s new album, Codes and Keys (out May 31), as well as a solo track that’s set to appear on the soundtrack for Russell Brand’s Arthur movie remake. Crisp bootlegged versions of those songs have now appeared online; stream them below (via TwentyFourBit).

The biggest highlight was Gibbard’s debut of the title track from Death Cab’s album: a spare, mournful ballad featuring nothing more than Gibbard’s earnest croon and piano. Expect that song to sound radically different on record: Gibbard recently told SPIN that the tune is “aching and gorgeous” and features a string section.

PHOTOS: Check out intimate pics of Death Cab on the road and in the studio.

Gibbard also previewed a solo track titled “When the Sun Goes Down on Your Street,” which will appear on the Arthur soundtrack. Like “Codes and Keys,” the song is a delicate, lilting ballad, with finger-picked acoustic guitar that recalls early Bob Dylan.