Death Cab For Cutie – Codes and Keys (Warner Music Canada)

As great as it was, Death Cab For Cutie were some serious downers with their 2008 record Narrow Stairs. Come to find out that chief songwriter Ben Gibbard was in the throes of alcoholism which no doubt helped steer Narrow Stairs down the dark path it walked. There is an optimism running through the songs on Codes and Keys that shows that being rehabilitated and now happily married has served and inspired Gibbard well. Rather than churning out another collection of indie-rock inspired tunes however, DCFC appear to have relegated the guitar to secondary instrument status for Codes and Keys. Throughout these 11 tracks, the group leans upon keyboards and electronics to guide them, creating some of the widest melodic sound-scapes of their career. Highlights worth checking out include Doors Unlocked and Open, Home Is A Fire, You Are A Tourist, Portable Television and album closer Stay Young Go Dancing.