The 2011 album Codes and Keys found Death Cab For Cutie experimenting with layered arrangements and the addition of electronic sounds to their guitar-based indie pop. But when singer Ben Gibbard wrote the single "You Are a Tourist," he wasn't thinking about texture; in fact, he wasn't quite sure what the song was about. “That song is not meant to be a larger statement than it is," he said. "To me, it's just a series of affirmations and positive thoughts. It's somewhat telling that it's a single voice in the bridge underneath, a low register vocal that's almost whispering at you, after you've been shouted at."
You Are a Tourist
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