After seven studio albums as the frontman of indie rock stalwarts Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Gibbard is striking out on his own with a solo disc. “Former Lives,” his first solo album, is due out on Oct. 16 in North America via Barsuk Records.
The album’s 12 songs were written over the past eight years, and recorded with Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza in Los Angeles, where Gibbard has moved from his native Seattle. Gibbard has previously collaborated as a solo artist with American Analog Set's Andrew Kenney on 2003's “Home Volume V” and Son Volt's Jay Farrar on 2009's “One Fast Move or I'm Gone.” The singer-songwriter also formed the Postal Service with Jimmy Tamborello for the brilliant one-off album “Give Up” in 2003.
"It wasn’t a goal and it certainly wasn’t a reaction to any sort of dissatisfaction to recording with Death Cab or anything like that," Gibbard tells Stereogum of the solo debut. ”It certainly doesn’t come out of like ‘I have all these songs to record and I’m not getting my fix with the band’… I’m a songwriter and that’s my job, and with every record that we’ve made there would always be a couple of tunes that just didn’t seem to fit in with the band. If people wanted to be dismissive of the record, they could just say ‘Oh these are leftovers,’ but they’re really not. They’re not songs that weren’t good enough to make Death Cab records as much as they were things that … well, there’s not really place on a Death Cab record for a song that sounds like Big Star or Teenage Fanclub. It’s kind of not what we do, you know.”
Death Cab For Cutie is currently touring in support of 2011’s “Codes and Keys,” which has sold 265,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. According to Barsuk’s website, “limited touring” will follow the release of “Former Lives.”