Death Cab For Cutie, Sufjan Stevens announce new albums

Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. The band has a new album "Kintsugi" out in March.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times )

Your 2005 indie-rock playist is getting a revival as Death Cab For Cutie and Sufjan Stevens have announced new albums.

Both records are arriving at crucial points for two artists who helped define the indie wave of the mid-decade.

For Death Cab, their forthcoming LP “Kintsugi” is an overt reference to the departure of founding guitarist-producer Chris Walla, who had been with the act since its 1998 debut as a full band. The album title is, according to the group, a reference to a Japanese ceramics technique in which broken pieces are reassembled using glue mixed with valuable metals.


Walla did perform on the record but will not be continuing with the band as a member. It’s also the band’s first new LP since singer Ben Gibbard’s divorce from actress Zooey Deschanel.

Gibbard has also released a solo album “Former Lives,” saw his electro-pop project the Postal Service return for a one-off tour, and contributed score work for the feature film “Laggies” and the documentary “Kurt Cobain: About A Son.”

“This is an opportunity for the band to become something it could only become by losing a founding member,” Gibbard told Rolling Stone.

Bassist Nick Harmer said in a statement that “considering what we were going through internally, and with what a lot of the lyrics are about, it had a great deal of resonance for us -- the idea of figuring out how to repair breaks and make them a thing of beauty.”

The 11-track LP is due out March 31 on Atlantic.

Meanwhile, the other indie rock North Star of 2005, Sufjan Stevens, has announced “Carrie & Lowell,” his first solo LP in five years. The album takes its title from his mother’s and stepfather’s names, and is being tipped as a return to Stevens’ early folk-inspired writing.

Though that’s the style that brought him renown, it’s a departure from recent albums and projects that have used electronic noise, ballets, rodeo and hip-hop as more varied inspirations. “Carrie & Lowell” is also due out March 31 on longtime label Asthmatic Kitty.


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