If there was ever anyone that needed his wonderfully woeful voice and neat-box pop-rock fucked up by Dan Deacon’s mischievous touch, it’s Ben Gibbard. Death Cab For Cutie returned this year sans founding member Chris Walla with Kintsugi, their first album since 2011’s Codes And Keys, and Deacon has put the album’s first single “Black Sun” in a blender set to hyper-speed. Where the song navel-gazed, now it looks out beyond the scope of our solar system. Gibbard used the blackening sun as another metaphor for a relationship’s desperate, devastating dissolution; Deacon uses it as the chance to push toward what that image itself would sound like. It’s a swirling, antsy experiment that brings out the best of both musicians; without the stable structure of Gibbard’s vocal, Deacon’s woozy wandering would lose focus, too. They need each other to keep this centrifuge spinning. Listen.
Kintsugi is out now via Atlantic. Deacon’s new Gliss Riffer is out now via Domino.