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Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard Reveals Solo Single ‘Teardrop Windows’

Ben Gibbard / Photo by Getty Images

Death Cab For Cutie singer Ben Gibbard has released the first single from his upcoming solo album Former Lives, due out October 16, whereupon he officially begins his new life as one “Benjamin Gibbard.” New song “Teardrop Windows” is a folksy rock rambler that pays tribute to Seattle’s celebrated Smith Tower, the oldest skyscraper in the city and the tallest building on the West Coast until 1962 when it was usurped by that towering prick (like, a pointy thing) the Space Needle. We’re not the only ones to anthropomorphize architecture. Ol’ Gibbstack coos about the tower like it’s an old friend: “Ivory white but feeling kinda blue / Because there’s no one there to see the view […] In 1962, the Needle made it’s big debut / And everybody forgot what it outgrew”

The song was dropped as a stream and free download (below) via Gibbard’s SoundCloud, much like his July leak “Icharo’s Theme,” although the Former Lives track list reveals that the latter won’t be seeing any play on the full-length, stuck, as it is, in the proverbial dugout of internet one-offs. The album was recorded in Los Angeles at Aaron “Earlimart” Espinoza’s East Side studio the Ship, and will feature Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster, Son Volt guitarist Mark Spencer, and singer-songwriter Aimee Mann. Gibbard is now an L.A. resident, and had this to say to NME: “These songs span eight years, three relationships, living in two different places, drinking then not drinking. They’re a side story, not a new chapter.”

He also let ’em know that Death Cab, whose enduring seventh album Codes and Keys came out last May, is not done for. Not hardly: “Creatively, I’m really cleaning a slate. I’m doubtful I’ll have another solo album for another 10 years because the health of Death Cab for Cutie has never been better. It’s exciting because for the first time in a long while, I’m starting from scratch as a songwriter — there’s no backlog of material to pilfer ideas from. It’s freeing and terrifying.” Gibbard hits the solo trail late September.

Former Lives track list:
1. “Shepherd’s Bush Lullaby”
2. “Dream Song”
3. “Teardrop Windows”
4. “Bigger Than Love”
5. “Lily”
6. “Something’s Rattling (Cowpoke)”
7. “Duncan, Where Have You Gone?”
8. “Oh, Woe”
9. “A Hard One to Know”
10. “Lady Adelaide”
11. “Broken Yolk in Western Sky”
12. “I’m Building a Fire”