The Open Door

To some extent, this EP — culled from songs left off last year's Narrow Stairs — feels like a Death Cab for Cutie sampler pack: "Little Bribes" is a return to the jaunty guitar rock of The Photo Album; the driving "I Was Once a Loyal Lover" is the Seattle foursome at their poppiest; and the riff-based "My Mirror Speaks" would have fit perfectly on 2005's Plans. "These eyes don't shine half as bright/As they used to do/And they haven't for quite a while," Ben Gibbard croons on "Mirror," making it abundantly clear that — 12 years into his band's career — he's nowhere close to running out of things to be sad about.