Death Cab For Cutie Underwater!

Death Cab For Cutie Underwater!

Out of print

Release Date March 21, 2000

Catalog No SP496

It’s weird to think of a time when Death Cab For Cutie was a young band starting to build buzz. In 2000, the Bellingham-based indie rock act was two years removed from their debut album Something About Airplanes on the then nascent Barsuk Records. Led by songwriter Ben Gibbard, the group was (and sometimes still is) tied in with “third wave emo,” though you’d be hard pressed to find a direct sonic lineage between DCFC and Sunny Day Real Estate. Gibbard’s songwriting, while highly introspective and confessional, often veered to more tender ballads with guitarist and producer Chris Walla helping create the glistening, down-trodden sound that would define the band. But 2000 is really where the band started to come into focus. On the same day they released their landmark sophomore album We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes, Sub Pop dropped a 7-inch from the band for their ongoing Singles Club series. Despite the very metal logo on the front cover, the single aptly showcases the spectrum the band was operating in at the time. A-side “Underwater” wistfully wobbles with Gibbard’s airy vocals bouncing off of Nathan Good’s drums and Nick Harmer’s buoyant bass – not to mention the effortless glide of Walla’s guitars. B-side “Army Corps of Architects” originally appeared on their demo tape You Can Play These Songs With Chords. It’s the band at their most stripped back, with sparse, twirling guitar notes echoing under Gibbard’s brokenhearted poetry, singing, “I knew the years would move quickly/But never quite as fast as this/So bring the discrepancies, I’ll pour the drinks.”

-Dusty Henry, courtesy of KEXP