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The Open Door - EP

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Album Review

Arriving one year after the release of Narrow Stairs, the five-song Open Door EP pairs four abandoned tracks from the Narrow Stairs sessions with a ukulele-helmed demo of "Talking Bird." Although it's certainly a stopgap recording — released just before the bandmates' final tour in support of Narrow Stairs, and intended to maintain their popularity throughout the subsequent retreat to the recording studio — Open Door is also a strong display of Death Cab's literate, poetry-major pop, with fast tempos and bright melodies that sometimes contrast Narrow Stairs' autumnal moments. These once-discarded tracks don't sound any less tuneful than the band's recent output; "Little Bribes," in particular, could have bumped a lesser song off of the Narrow Stairs track list with its power pop bounce, while "My Mirror Speaks" wields a winsomely ascending chorus that finds Ben Gibbard reaching into his falsetto. Such tunes may not have suited the bittersweet beauty of Stairs, but they're quite good in their own right, making The Open Door EP something more than a fans-only release. The only arguable misstep is the demo version of "Talking Bird" (the only song to appear on Narrow Stairs, albeit in different form), whose bare-boned arrangement lacks the shifting dynamics of Death Cab's best material.

Customer Reviews

An EP with album quality. This is gonna have a lot of people

There's lots of good stuff here. For those people out there who were a little disappointed with Narrow Stairs, this EP is probably more your style. This EP is a good mix of songs. It's understandable why they were cut from Narrow Stairs, not because they were weak songs, but because they just didn't fit the feel of that album. However, they seem to mesh well here and flow nicely. Every song is littered with memorably poetic lyrics, but it's Death Cab so what's new, right? I'm not a big fan of the "Talking Bird" demo. It's very pretty, but for a song as slow as it is, it helps to have more layers added. I'm a fan of the album version, but a lot of people I've talked with favor this demo. The "Grapevine Fires" music video is insane. Fabulous animation for a fabulous song. All in all I give it a 4.6 refreshing, and satisfying; interesting stuff. I've been into DCFC for a long while now, and personally I'm not partial to their "new stuff" or "old stuff" to me it just Death Cab and slow, fast, digital, overdriven, or acoustic I usually dig it. So, they come highly recommended in my book. If your not a fan yet, give them a try.


Ben Gibbard is an alchemist - a lyrical Rumpelstiltskin - taking ordinary words and weaving them into gold.

Let's Get Back to the Plan

As an avid Death Cab fan I've loved all their cd's but Plans was simply amazing. Then, Narrow Stairs came around and wasn't what many of us expected. It had a few good songs, but I didn't love it like their other albums. But The Open Door EP goes back to the Death Cab we all love. Every song is excellent especially A Diamond and a Tether. Ben Gibbard remains one of the best lyricists around, plus one of the best singers.


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
The Open Door - EP, Death Cab for Cutie
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Customer Ratings


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