I’ve been waiting for new a Death Cab for Cutie song for two years and for a new album for almost three. In the real world, that isn’t that long, but in the world of a fan, a simple year between records can seem like an eternity. Therefore, when teasers started being released on social media and hints began to drop, I was at the edge of my seat. Today, the first single for the band’s upcoming album dropped — and let me just say that if this new album, Thank You for Today, is anything like this new song, then everything might just be okay in the world; even if just for the amount of time it takes to listen to the ten tracks.
“Gold Rush” is the lead single that’s just been released into the world, alongside a stunning and experimental new music video that, thankfully, does not draw attention away from this soon to be indie chart-topper. This track is a clever homage to life changing over time. It is not focused on personal growth, but the change of one’s childhood as it gets ripped away from them. Ben Gibbard’s vocals are crisp and clear as he croons with subtle sadness about his hometown going from a place of youth and hope to one of construction sites and empty streets.
This alternative rock ballad portrays memories being altered and feelings being crushed. You hold your youth in a tight little box with you, but just because you didn’t open it doesn’t mean it didn’t change on its own.
Ben explained the melancholy concept of the song further to NPR saying, “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become acutely aware of how I connect my memories to my geography and [how] the landscape of the city changes. I’ll walk down Broadway and walk past a location that used to be a bar I’d frequent with friends, or somewhere where I had a beautifully intense conversation with somebody that I once loved very much. The song is not a complaint about how things were better or anything like that. It’s an observation, but more about coming to terms with the passage of time and losing the people and the moments in my life all over again as I walk down a street that is now so unfamiliar.”
Death Cab for Cutie built a powerful song with passion that is found within more than just the vocals — the instrumentals alone show the world just how lucky we are that the original band is back as a whole to create this new album for us to soon hear.