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Death Cab for Cutie brings “honest,” “transparent” ’Asphalt Meadows’ album back on the road

Atlantic; Credit: Benjamin Gibbard

Death Cab for Cutie will return to the road Friday in continued support of their new album, Asphalt Meadows. Along with fresh tunes that include the single “Here to Forever,” Asphalt Meadows also brings more of frontman Ben Gibbard‘s signature approach to songwriting.

“I’m actually really proud about Ben and the lyrics in this album and the places that he went to inside himself,” bassist Nick Harmer tells ABC Audio. “The thing I’ve always been proud of Ben as a songwriter over the years is he’s always written about life as he’s living it and experiencing it in real time.”

As a result, Harmer feels that each Death Cab album reflects “snapshots in a journey through a life.”

“I’ve always really applauded [Gibbard] for being as honest and transparent about where he’s at in his life, the feelings that he’s having and just kind of riding through that,” Harmer says.

Of course, the snapshot this time overlapped with the historic COVID-19 pandemic, which inevitably seeped into what Asphalt Meadows became, despite Gibbard’s best efforts.

“[Gibbard] explicitly stated to us that he didn’t want to write songs about the pandemic,” Harmer recalls. “But, at the very same time, it was undeniable that these songs were being created in the context of a pandemic.”

He continues, “I think [Gibbard] was looking for a way to explore the emotional content and the psychological side of what it felt to be in this collective trauma that was happening to everyone, without being literally about just the global pandemic that was unfolding.”

Death Cab’s tour includes dates throughout the winter and spring. In September, they’ll launch a co-headlining run with Gibbard’s other band, The Postal Service, while celebrating the 20th anniversary of the two groups’ respective 2003 albums, Transatlanticism and Give Up.

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