‘For What Reason’ by Death Cab For Cutie
From the album We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes (2000)
I decided to finish this mammoth undertaking as I started, with my favourite song by one of my favourite bands, whom I bang on about pretty often, be it good or bad.
I don’t know what it is about this song that makes me love it so much, I often think it may be the way that the guitar and vocals undulate in the chorus, or the way that the verses are brought back in with a lovely washy guitar line, or how insane, yet completely controlled, the drums, performed by Ben Gibbard, are all the way throughout the song. There are more that I could mention but I’d be writing this article forever (and I’ve started a bit late). One can always rely on Ben Gibbard to write on-point indie/emo lyrics that really talk to the listener (if they wish to listen that is), and ‘For What Reason’ is no exception. Gibbard is at his acerbic best in this song; lines such as ‘I will hold a candle up to you to singe your skin’ (presumably burning photographs) and describing the subject of the song as ‘so slick with that sarcastic slew’.
We Have the Facts… is two out of five in a run of near perfect albums by Death Cab, beginning with the lo-fi Washington emo of Something About Airplanes (1998) and culminating in the sun-soaked, poppish indie of Plans (2005). I’m not going to detract too much from Narrow Stairs, which is a great album in its own right, but not to the same standard as the previous five. I’m also glad to say that Codes and Keys (2011) is growing on me (I even put a song from it on a monthly playlist in November) and I very much enjoyed Kintsugi (2015) as a last hoorah for Chris Walla’s involvement in the band.
Death Cab for Cutie mean so much to so many people and I’m very happy to end my year of music with the band that started it all. If I haven’t hammered the point home enough already then I urge you to spend some quality time with their back catalogue and find something special in there.