Death Cab For Cutie: Up From The Indie World

Listen Now

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Death Cab for Cutie started out as the solo project of engineering student Ben Gibbard. While he was attending college in Washington state, Gibbard performed on the side and recorded a demo that found a unexpected following. Gathering members with the help of producer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Walla, the group began to record and hit local venues. Word spread quickly about the Bellingham band's sweet, sincere pop.

Set List

  • "Little Bribes"
  • "My Mirror Speaks"
  • "Grapevine Fires"
  • "A Diamond and a Tether"
  • "Title and Registration"
Death Cab for Cutie; courtesy of the artist i

Death Cab for Cutie. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist
Death Cab for Cutie; courtesy of the artist

Death Cab for Cutie.

courtesy of the artist

Years later, Death Cab for Cutie has scored multiple Grammy nominations and toured internationally, but it hasn't lost the ability to express accessible and powerful emotions in its music. Gibbard's vocals, always faintly familiar in a boy-next-door way, observe love and life with a resigned delicacy — his songs are poetic and yearning, but never over-the-top. With beautiful melodies, imaginative rhythms and stylistic variety, Death Cab for Cutie has evolved considerably over the years. Its latest album is the inventive and appealing Narrow Stairs.

Purchase Featured Music

Narrow Stairs

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Narrow Stairs
Death Cab for Cutie

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from