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Narrow Stairs

Death Cab for Cutie

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iTunes Review

With tunes such as “You Can Do Better Than Me,” “Pity and Fear”, and “The Ice is Getting Thinner”, it’s safe to say no one will accuse Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard of getting too comfortable with his band’s continued popular success. The Death Cab cult grows with each release and 2008’s Narrow Stairs should expand their base even further, since it manages to both remain true to the band’s slumbering speeds and heartfelt manifestos while also focusing their sound into a tight, active unit. Backed with electric piano and Gibbard’s earnest vocals, “Grapevine Fires” paints a creepy romantic portrait of a man, his lover and her daughter in a cemetery observing a distant brushfire. “I Will Possess Your Heart” begins with a long, lurking intro before giving way to an obsessive admirer’s verbal promise to win the affection of his obsession. “Your New Twin Sized Bed” lopes with an irresistible melody. Whether the moments are dark or walking towards the light, Gibbard and his indelible tunes evoke a sweetness not often heard in modern pop music.

Customer Reviews

Full of outstandingly well written songs

Death Cab aspire to only put together an album when they have a whole album's worth of tracks - unlike the majority of slop that gets churned out nowadays. This idea is certainly shown in this album, where after a few listens (and sometimes it does take a few), every song is an absolute gem. Narrow Stairs is somewhat darker and more gritty than the band's earlier records, ditching the more 'highly-produced' sound of Plans and turning back to raw tape recordings, which I'm sure the band can accurately reproduce in a live environment. Don't get me wrong, you will still find a plethora of experimentation with noise-solos, massive reverb and delay effects, it just feels a whole lot more organic. Like a band, performing to you, in a room. And it certainly works.

Back to Business!

Ladies and Gentlemen may i be the first to welcome back the legends that are Death Cab For Cutie! This album hads it all and is exactly what i hoped after three years of absense! so sit back and enjoy! x

A new direction but still quietly optimistic.

Fantastic new release by Gibbard, Harmer, McGerr & Walla...this shows what geniuses they really are, and reconfirms DCFC as one of my all-time favorite bands. Stand out tracks include: "Grapevine Fires", "Long Division", and "Talking Bird".


Formed: 1997 in Bellingham, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Death Cab for Cutie's rise from small-time solo project to Grammy-nominated rock band is one of indie rock's greatest success stories. Launched in the bayside college town of Bellingham, Washington, the group was originally a side project for singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard, an engineering student at Western Washington University who split his time between school and music. Taking a break from his local power pop band, Pinwheel, Gibbard began recording an album's worth of solo material during the summer...
Full bio
Narrow Stairs, Death Cab for Cutie
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Customer Ratings




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