It may not be surprising that a band called Death Cab for Cutie would sing about dying — it’s in their name, after all — but you may not expect them to do it with such cheeriness.
The “Soul Meets Body” group’s current single, “Here to Forever,” finds frontman Ben Gibbard musing that all the actors in movies he watches from the ’50s “are all dead now.” And if you didn’t hear it the first time, Gibbard repeats the line “They’re all dead now” with a warm, exuberant harmony from his bandmates.
Speaking with ABC Audio, bassist Nick Harmer shares that mismatching the tones of lyrics and the music within songs has long been a Death Cab staple.
“I think that one thing that we’ve done in this band, and certainly sonically, and we’ve kind of explored in our songs, is kind of this juxtaposition between either a heavy emotional content with more uplifting or lighter music or uplifting music with a darker, emotional lyrical content,” Harmer shares.
With “Here to Forever” specifically, that juxtaposition seems to be working, as the track currently sits at #2 on Billboard‘s Alternative Airplay chart, the highest ranking any Death Cab song has had on the tally since 2015’s “Black Sun.”
“I think we kind of like how those things can kind of push and pull against one another from an emotional place,” Harmer says. “[We] look for those moments where we can kind of highlight the sort of light and darkness at the same time.”
“Here to Forever” appears on the new Death Cab album Asphalt Meadows, which is out now.
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