Death Cab for Cutie get back to basics with “Little Wanderer,” a melancholy, guitar-driven sing-along from their upcoming eighth LP, Kintsugi. The song, a meditation on a musician’s long-distance relationship, premiered Monday on The Line of Best Fit. “I hope your absence makes us grow fonder; I hope we always feel the same,” sings frontman Ben Gibbard over a glistening riff. “When our eyes meet past security, we embrace in the baggage claim.” Listen below.
“Little Wanderer” is the fourth Kintsugi track the band has shared following first single “Black Sun,” “No Room in Frame” and “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive.” The album is out March 31st on Atlantic Records.
Multi-instrumentalist, longtime producer and founding member Chris Walla announced his departure from the band in August, and he played an emotional farewell show with Death Cab the following month. Though Walla appears on Kintsugi, Rich Costey produced the album – marking their first collaboration with an outside producer.
“I make no comparisons as far as cultural significance with this band, but I think about Wilco, and the changes they’ve gone through over the years, and how there have been moments in that band where people have left and you’ve thought ‘How are they ever going to continue?'” Gibbard told Rolling Stone last October, reflecting on the band’s resiliency. “I look at them and I think, ‘We’ve lost a very talented musician, but there are other very talented musicians with new perspectives and new ways of looking at creating music.’ It’s on us to make this a good period.”
In a January interview with Rolling Stone, the frontman addressed the band’s new artistic goals. “This is an opportunity for the band to become something it could only become by losing a founding member,” he said. “It’s our goal to make records that rank amongst the best work we’ve ever done. I completely respect and understand why people love Transatlanticism or We Have the Facts… or Narrow Stairs. And I would hope that as we move forward, people listen with as little prejudice as they can and try to hear the music for what it is and not what they want it to be.”