Death Cab for Cutie pay tribute to three children who died 20 years ago in a freak explosion on “Kids in ’99,” a sweet and somber song off their upcoming release, The Blue EP, out September 6th.
On June 10th, 1999, a gas pipeline operated by the Olympic Pipeline Company exploded in Bellingham, Washington’s Whatcom Falls Park, injuring eight people and killing three children, aged 10 to 18, who were fishing and playing in the area. Frontman Ben Gibbard describes the scene over a rolling drumbeat and textural guitar, gingerly singing, “Gone, gone” in the chorus as he laments their deaths.
“The Olympic Pipeline explosion in 1999 was a tragedy that really affected me while we were living in Bellingham,” Gibbard said in a statement. “After all these years I felt it was worthy of its own folk song.”
The band cut “Kids in ’99” and another Blue EP track “Blue Bloods” with producer Peter Katis (The National, Kurt Vile). They self-produced “Man in Blue,” and recorded the rest of the songs on the EP with producer Rich Costey during the sessions for their most recent album, Thank You for Today. Death Cab will play some dates in support of the album around North America this August and October. Details are available on the group’s website.
In related news, Gibbard recently made a guest appearance on Chance the Rapper’s new album, The Big Day. He sang and received a co-writing credit on “Do You Remember.”
The Blue EP track list:
1. “To the Ground”
2. “Kids in ’99”
3. “Man in Blue”
4. “Before the Bombs”
5. “Blue Bloods”