(31) Days of Good 2012 has officially begun. Enjoy the ride.
After fifteen years making music with Death Cab For Cutie, 2012 saw the release of lead singer Ben Gibbard’s debut solo album (as Benjamin Gibbard) — Former Lives. I enjoyed this album quite a bit, it was a good change of pace from Gibbard’s more familiar Death Cab material. One track in particular really stands out from the rest. “Bigger than Love”, a duet with Aimee Mann (new album Charmer out this year as well) is based on real quotes and love letters between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda. This is one of the most devastatingly, beautiful songs i’ve ever heard and very well may be my favorite track of 2012; definitely in my top 10. It also really makes me want a full album of Mann/Gibbard duets.
According to Gibbard, “I really fell in love with a book of letters called Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda that is correspondences between the two of them beginning in their courtship and ending at the end of their lives, you know, when he was out in Los Angeles working as screenwriter and she was in Ashville in a mental facility. And it’s a really wonderful, really touching book, because no matter what stage of a relationship one might be in, it is inspiring to kind of read the correspondence between two people throughout their entire relationship and starting with the moments when they’re really enamored with each other and they can’t bear to spend an hour apart, all the way through, you know, there’s a letter that’s incredibly devastating that Zelda writes.”
♩Benjamin Gibbard – Bigger than Love (feat. Aimee Mann) [from Former Lives]
p.s. don’t worry Death Cab fans, the band is not over. According to Gibbard, “there’s no doubt in any of our minds that we have a lot of things to say and a lot more music to create.” (via NPR Music)
Damien Jurado released Maraqopa early this year, his 10th studio album, on Secretly Canadian. I was lucky enough to catch Mr. Jurado open for Ben Gibbard less than a month ago it was such a good show. Maraqopa has it’s fair share of worthy tracks to chose from, with “Museum Of Flight”, “Reel of Reel”, and “This Time Next Year” coming to mind. In the end though, one song in particular stands ahead of the pack. Now be fair warned, this track is deceptively upbeat, but that could be said for much of Jurado’s catalogue.
♩Damien Jurado – Working Titles [from Maraqopa]
Apparently the theme for Day 1 is Ben Gibbard. Jimmy Tamborello makes up the other half of The Postal Service, but he’s best known as Dntel. This year he released Aimlessness. I’m not gonna lie. I’m a big fan of Dntel, but this album didn’t do it for me. With that said, there are still some great tracks worth a listen, including “Bright Night”, “Jitters”, and “Still”. My personal favorite is “Puma”, which sounds like Jamie xx channeling Philip Glass.
♩Dntel – Puma [from Aimlessness]