Former Lives

What do you do when the world's most flawless bangs walk out on you? Ben Gibbard – the former Mr. Zooey Deschanel and chief of Death Cab for Cutie – mourned with a solo set of Beatles-nuzzling ballads so pretty they'd make any actress jealous. As always, it's fascinating how much emotion Gibbard represses, squeezing out his quaver like so much icing on Cupcake Wars. Former Lives may be chilly. ("Bigger Than Love," his duet with Aimee Mann, would frost oranges in August.) But it's heartbreak made perfect, and there are loads of perverse pleasure in that.

Listen to "Teardrop Windows":

From The Archives Issue 1168: October 25, 2012