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Barsuk Records


by Death Cab for Cutie

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released October 7, 2003

All words by Benjamin Gibbard

Produced, recorded & mixed by Christopher Walla, except 4 & 5, mixed by John Goodmanson
Mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI

Original artwork and layout by Adde Russell;

Played by Death Cab for Cutie, with help from The Barsuk Men's Choir [Sean Nelson, John Roderick & Phil Wandscher, with Ben, Nick & Chris] on 7 and Rob Herbst, who stomped and clapped with Ben, Nick & Jason on 5

The Hall Of Justice, Seattle
Assistants: Joel Brown, Robbie Skrocki
Tiny Telephone, San Francisco
Assistant: Aaron Prellwitz
Avast! Recording, Seattle
Assistants: Stuart Hallerman, Kevin Suggs, Troy Tietjen
Ironwood, Seattle
Assistants: Steve Wiseman, Katy Perkins
Studio X, Seattle
Assistants: Sam Hofstedt, Kory Kruckenberg

Legal: Conrad Rippy/Levine, Plotkin & Menin, LLP
Booking: Trey Many/Aero Booking

Thank You: Friends and family; Elizabeth Duffell; Joan Hiller; Kerensa Wight; Suzanne Asprea; Josh, Emily, Christopher, Barry and The Barsuk Family; Stuart Hallerman; Kevin Suggs; Troy Tietjen; John Vanderslice; Aaron Prellwitz; Glynn Durham; Lon Neumann; Ed Brooks; Robbie Skrocki; Joel Brown; Bonnie Reed; Sam Hofstedt; Kory Kruckenberg; Donn Devore; Steve Wiseman; Katy Perkins; John Goodmanson; Sean Nelson; John Roderick; Phil Wandscher; Rob Herbst; Gregg Keplinger; Kris K.; Steve Smith; Jay Chilcote; David Broecker; Scott Solter; Torpedo Screenprinting; Annette at Pacific Pro Audio; Brendan, Julie and Sheila at Tag Team Media; Adam Katz; Tom & Kimberly Osborn; The Dismemberment Plan

This record is dedicated to Sadie Marie Osborn

Death Cab for Cutie: Benjamin Gibbard/Nicholas Harmer/Jason McGerr/Christopher Walla



all rights reserved


Death Cab for Cutie Seattle, Washington

Death Cab for Cutie is an American alternative rock band, formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. The Grammy-nominated band consists of Ben Gibbard (vocals, guitar, piano), Nick Harmer (bass) and Jason McGerr (drums). Their eighth studio album Kintsugi was released on March 31, 2015. ... more


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Track Name: The New Year
So this is the new year and I don't feel any different
The clanking of crystal and explosions off in the distance in the distance
So this is the new year and I have no resolutions
It's self-assigned penance for problems with easy solutions
So everybody put your best suit or dress on
Let's make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
Lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
As thirty dialogs bleed into one
I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then I could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speed trains, or freeways
There'd be no distance that could hold us back
Track Name: Lightness
There's a tear in the fabric of your favorite dress and I’m sneaking glances
I'm looking for the patterns in static: they start to make sense the longer I’m at it
(ivory lines lead)
Your heart is a river that flows from your chest through every organ
And your brain is the dam and I am the fish who can't reach the core
(ivory lines lead)
Oh, instincts are misleading
You shouldn't think what you're feeling
They don't tell you what you know you should want.
Track Name: Title And Registration
The glove compartment is inaccurately named and everybody knows it
So I’m proposing a swift orderly change
Because behind its door there's nothing to keep my fingers warm
And all I find are souvenirs from better times before the gleam of your taillights fading east to find yourself a better life
I was searching for some legal document as the rain beat down on the hood
When I stumbled upon pictures I tried to forget
And that's how this idea was drilled into my head
Cause it's too important to stay the way it's been
But there's no blame for how our love did slowly fade
And now that it's gone it's like it wasn't there at all
And here I rest: where disappointment and regret collide, lying awake at night
Track Name: Expo '86
Sometimes I think this cycle never ends
We slide from top to bottom and we turn and climb again
And it seems by the time that I have figured what it's worth
The squeaking of our skin against the steel has gotten worse.
But if I move my place in line I’ll lose
And I have waited, the anticipation's got me glued
I am waiting for something to go wrong
I am waiting for familiar resolve
Sometimes it seems that I don't have the skills to recollect
The twists and turns of plots that turned us from lovers to friends
I'm thinking I should take that volume back up off the shelf
And crack it's weary spine and read to help remind myself
But if I move my place in line I’ll lose
And I have waited, the anticipation's got me glued
I am waiting for something to wrong
I am waiting for familiar resolve
I am waiting for another repeat
Another diet fed by crippling defeat
And I am waiting for that sense of relief
I am waiting for you to flee the scene
As if you held in your hand the smoking gun
And on the floor lay the one you said you loved
And what's strange is they're basically the same
So I don't ask names anymore
Track Name: The Sound Of Settling
I've got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots that my tongue was tied off
My brain's repeating, If you've got an impulse, LET IT OUT!
But they never make it past my mouth
This is the sound of setting
Our youth is fleeting, old age is just around the bend and I can't wait to go gray
And I’ll sit and wonder f every love that could've been
If I’d only thought of something charming to say.
This is the sound of settling
Track Name: Tiny Vessels
This is the moment that you know
That you told her that you loved her but you don't
You touch her skin and then you think
That she is beautiful but she don't mean a thing to me
I spent two weeks in Silverlake
The California sun cascading down my face
There was a girl with light brown streaks
And she was beautiful but she didn't mean a thing to me
I wanted to believe in all the words that I was speaking as we moved together in the dark
And all the friends that I was telling, all the playful misspellings and every bite I made that left a mark
As tiny vessels oozed into your neck and formed the bruises that you said you didn't want to fade
But they did and so did I that day
All I see are dark gray clouds
In the distance moving closer with every hour
So when you'd ask Is something wrong?
I'd think, You're damn right there is, but we can't talk about it now.
No, we can't talk about it now.
So one last touch and then you'll go
And we'll pretend that it meant something so much more
But it was vile, and it was cheap
And you are beautiful but you don't mean a thing to me
Track Name: Transatlanticism
The Atlantic was born today and I'll tell you how
The clouds above opened up and let it out
I was standing on the surface of a perforated sphere when the water filled every hole
And thousands upon thousands made an ocean making islands where no island should go (oh no)
Those people were overjoyed; they took to their boats
I thought it less like a lake and more like a moat
The rhythm of my footsteps crossing flatlands to your door have been silenced forevermore
And the distance is quite simply much too far for me to row it seems farther than ever before (oh no)
I need you so much closer
Track Name: Passenger Seat
I roll the window down and then begin to breathe in the darkest country road and the strong scent of evergreen from the passenger seat as you are driving me home
Then looking upwards I strain my eyes and try to tell the difference between shooting stars and satellites from the passenger seat as you are driving me home
Do they collide? I ask and you smile.
With my feet on the dash the world doesn't matter
When you feel embarrassed, then I’ll be your pride
When you need directions, then I’ll be the guide for all time
Track Name: Death Of An Interior Decorator
You were the mother of three girls so sweet that stormed through your turnstile and climbed to the street
But after conception, your body lay cold and withered through autumn and you found yourself old
Can you tell me why you have been so sad?
He took a lover on a faraway beach while you arrange flowers and chose color schemes
Can you tell me why you have been so sad?
The girls were all there; they traded their vows
The youngest one glared with furrowed brows as they tenderly kissed then cut the cake
The bride then tripped and broke the vase
The one you thought would spend the years so perfectly placed below the mirror
Arriving late, you clean the debris and walked into the angry sea and it felt just like falling in love again
Track Name: We Looked Like Giants
God bless the daylight, the sugary smell of springtime
Remembering when you were mine in a still suburban town
When every Thursday I'd brave those mountain passes and you'd skip your early classes
And we'd learn how our bodies worked
God damn the black night with all its foul temptation
I've become what I always hated when I was with you then
We looked like giants in the back of my gray subcompact
Fumbling to make contact as the others slept inside
And together there in a shroud of frost, the mountain air began to pass from every pane of weathered glass and I held you closer than anyone would ever get
Do you remember the J.A.M.C. and reading aloud from magazines?
I don't know about you, but I swear on my name they could smell it on me
And I've never been too good with secrets.
Track Name: A Lack Of Color
And when I see you I really see you upside down
But my brain knows better, it picks you up and turns you around
If you feel discouraged when there's a lack of color here
Please don't worry lover, it's really bursting at the seams from absorbing everything
The spectrum's A to Z
This is fact not fiction for the first time in years
And all the girls in every girlie magazine can't make me feel any less alone
I'm reaching for the phone
To call at 7:03 and on your machine I slur a plea for you to come home
But I know it's too late, I should have given you a reason to stay