On first listen to Death Cab’s new album (that leaked today) it is a little more rock than Plans and Transatlanticism. Narrow Stairs is still defiantly a Death Cab For Cutie album they haven’t escaped to far. The first single I will Possess Your Heart, has a long meandering intro. This works really well as it increases the tension ready for Ben Gibbard’s vocals to drop. I like what they did for this single; I prefer it when Death Cab For Cutie takes more risks. With Narrow Stairs they achieve a nice balance of song writing and sonic creativity. I can find them a little bit middle of the road some times, but when the mood takes me this band is so comforting to listen to. Gibbard is on top form here as usual; his voice is beautiful and tender on top of these rock tunes. My favourite Gibbard moment is his work on the Postal Service album Give Up. Narrow Stairs doesn’t reach such great heights though. For me Death Cab For Cutie never have. My stand out tunes are the opener Bixby, Canyon Bridge, the single I Will Possess Your Heart, the beautiful melancholy Talking Bird that ends with some ace feedback. Grapevine Fires; opens it marching drums and great keyboards that sound so warm, they wrap around you while Ben tells us about drinking wine from paper cups. Pity And Fear comes on a little bit Indian in style, with talking drums of some kind but then brings the rock into it with an ace set of drums to propel you along. If you’re after a mellow listen with heart and all your favourite emotional content such as being of the geeky, love sick, indie boy persuasion then you can’t go far wrong than listening to this. Pre-Order from here and check out Death Cab For Cutie here.