From my nascent time directly observing the local indie scene, April Hernandez is one of its quiet yet most effective workers. While she does a bunch of things for other artists, you more likely know her as TheSunManager, whose music bursts with an effortless optimism. On Friday she will release her first full-length debut, Worth, and we’ve taken the chance to ask her about the five songs she can’t live without. Her selections have actually surprised us – and it’s a good thing, we must add.
You really can’t help but think this way: Kintsugi, the latest from Death Cab for Cutie, is a break-up record. It’s definitely a break-up record. It’s definitely inspired by the end of the marriage of Ben Gibbard to actress Zooey Deschanel. The thoughts I had when “Black Sun” came out turn out to be true: the relationship’s end informs pretty much all of the tracks, the hints towards the loneliness of Los Angeles and the culture of ingenues and misfits. (Sadly this also means I can’t get the image of Deschanel’s face off my head as I listened to this.) And that – plus the departure of Chris Walla from the band – makes Kintsugi the product of extraordinary timing. The shift’s been happening for a while, but it is a bit more pronounced now: the shift towards endings rather than beginnings, coupled by a slightly darker undercurrent in its sound (never mind the jarring tonal shift in the second half) makes the record feel more groundbreaking than intended. This results in Kintsugi possibly being a break-up record, but not really. I just had an idea of what happened, so I’m here. I don’t know about the rest of you. [NB] | 4/5
“Black Sun” by Death Cab for Cutie | I know I just tweeted (over here) all my thoughts about the new Death Cab for Cutie song, but I’ll write it here anyway because they’re still bouncing in my head. Is this song about Zooey Deschanel? I say this solely because of “Monday Morning”. It’s too shallow a read, though, because this song is the first we hear from the band, without guitarist Chris Walla, and while it’s all good, the departure’s prolly influenced Ben Gibbard a bit, too. But yeah, the Zooey thing sounds too convenient. But enough of that. This brooding single is the first off Kintsugi, which will hit stores at the end of March. We’ve all the time. [NB]
“Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie | Now, I’m no Death Cab for Cutie guy. I know the band, but I’m not like most of my friends back in college who seem to have a Death Cab song for every situation. I know some of their more popular stuff. I love “What Sarah Said”. But I’m not the guy who’d slave over every little detail of Ben Gibbard and company, and definitely not the guy who’s praise him as a musical god at every turn. So you have to forgive me when I heard “Transatlanticism” for the first time last week and, in the tradition of songs like Athlete’s “Wires” and Sigur Rós’ “Hoppípolla”, I had the urge to cry. [NB]