Ben Gibbard – “Life In Quarantine”

Ben Gibbard

Ben Gibbard – “Life In Quarantine”

Ben Gibbard

While waiting out the coronavirus pandemic like the rest of us, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard has been spending his time in quarantine playing daily livestreamed solo shows from his Seattle home, which has resulted in Radiohead, Joy Division, and Decemberists covers and has been a real treat, all things considered. Today, outside the context of his 4PM PT webcasts, he has shared a new song via his hometown alt-weekly.

Gibbard’s new song is called “Life In Quarantine.” He begins it by singing, “The streets are empty, the bars and cafes too/ The streetlights only changin’ ’cause they ain’t got nothin’ better to do.” He ends it with a bleak proclamation sung tenderly: “No one is going anywhere soon.” In a video first posted on The Stranger’s blog, Gibbard followed the song with a message for Seattle: “I know this is a really fucked up and scary time for everybody, including myself. And I know that we’re all trying to figure out what we can do to make it better, or what we can do to alleviate the suffering of someone else.”

Gibbard intends to upload the song to DSPs next week to benefit charitable organizations. In the meantime, he used today’s video clip to solicit sleeping bags and tents for displaced people in the greater Seattle area through the Aurora Commons. Nearby helping hands are directed to drop off donations on the porch here:

The Aurora Commons c/o
Lisa Etter-Carlson
927 N. 89th St
Seattle WA 98103

This kind of song is going to become a cliché very quickly — it’s easy to imagine every third band explaining that they wrote their new album in isolation during their next rollout — but Gibbard benefits from being a quarantine-core early adopter. I’m not burned out on this kind of thing yet, and “Life In Quarantine” is touching. Watch below.

UPDATE: Gibbard has now released the official home-studio recording of “Life In Quarantine,” and proceeds go to benefit Aurora Commons, a Seattle nonprofit serving people who are experiencing homelessness. You can buy the track at Bandcamp, and you can stream it below:

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