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Death Cab Sets Date For, Names New Album

Death Cab For Cutie offers a little bit of everything on its second major label album, “Narrow Stairs,” due May 13 via Atlantic.

The 11-track set lives up to bassist Nick Harmer’s earlier description of the material to Billboard: “a sampling of the most uptempo, upbeat Death Cab songs as well as some of our saddest.”

Several minutes go by before frontman Ben Gibbard’s voice is heard on the eight-minute single “I Will Possess Your Heart,” the most expansive song Death Cab has yet released. A dark Harmer bass riff initially conjures Jane’s Addiction’s “3 Days” before the rest of the band kicks in, shifting the track into atmospheric realms.

“No Sunlight” and “Long Division” are jaunty rockers, while marching-band drums, piano and vintage organ support the state-of-the-relationship ditty “You Can Do Better Than Me.”

Death Cab’s more somber side peeks through on “Talking Bird,” and the largely voice-and-guitar closer “The Ice Is Getting Thinner.”

The group has already confirmed upcoming festival appearances at Coachella and Bonnaroo, as well as a handful of spring shows beginning April 18 in Bremerton, Wash. In related news, Gibbard and Steve Fisk’s score for the Kurt Cobain film “About a Son” was released digitally this week via Barsuk.

Here is the track list for “Narrow Stairs”:

“Bixby Canyon Bridge”
“I Will Possess Your Heart”
“No Sunlight”
“Talking Bird”
“You Can Do Better Than Me”
“Grapevine Fires”
“Your New Twin Size Bed”
“Long Division”
“Pity and Fear”
“The Ice Is Getting Thinner”