The vocalist of one of my absolute favorite bands Death Cab For Cutie (thanks Shannon!)  Ben Gibbard played a solo show at San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival this past weekend where he previewed some very promising material.

While Death Cab fans were hoping Ben would preview more of his bands new music, the title track of the band’s new album & a solo song  of his were premiered at the show. Hear them below.

The first offering Gibbard gave us was a stripped down version of new Death Cab For Cutie track “Codes and Keys,” which also serves as the title of their new album. While this live performance probably gives little indication of what the final version will end up sounding like, you can hear Gibbard’s signature vocal delivery that gives all those DCFC songs an overwhelming feeling of hope and tenderness (or maybe that’s just what I feel like when I listen to them). The song has some great lyrics with Ben ending the track with a gentle, held out “We Are Alive” line repeated making me think the actual mastered version is going to end up sounding very strong and powerful. Reports are saying the new music from Death Cab is going to be very synth-heavy so don’t expect such a soft approach when it comes time for the album release, but for now this is very nice.

Ben also premiered a new song he’s done on his accord called “When The Sun Goes Down On Your Street” which is being used in the upcoming movie “Arthur” starring Russell Brand (another mediocre looking dude who ended up marrying a mega hottie). This is not the first time Gibbard has ventured away from Death Cab with his side band The Postal Service carving out their own place of electronica meets emo in 2004/2005 with their somewhat of a classic “Such Great Heights.”

Yet this track shows Ben completely on his own on this folky track. Ben’s trademark vocal delivery is front and center on this acoustic track (no word about what the final track will actually sound like) but the song is a departure from Death Cab’s work. It does not have the catchy choruses usually found in the band’s work, and instead sees somewhat of an atypical song structure with no real set chorus. While this is going to sound negative, I believe this song is perfect for a movie soundtrack since I can totally see it playing in the background or the opening credits as we get to know the characters of the music. Good placement.

Still in the end, these tracks just made me want to play my Death Cab albums and indulge into the albums I haven’t listened to yet (expect them on tomorrow’s music chart & probably to own the next week’s chart). Are you excited for new Death Cab? Their last album was released in 2008 and ended up their first #1 album. Do they still have it? If “Codes and Keys” is shaping up how I think it will (a big sounding synth song with piano backing and then a big chant at the end) then I think they should have no problem with a successful comeback. Take a listen to the very well recorded bootlegs below:

“Codes and Keys (Live)” Ben Gibbard

“When The Sun Goes Down On Your Street (Live)” Ben Gibbard

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