10. Jenny Lewis featuring Ben Gibbard, M Ward, and Connor Oberst “Handle With Care”
Granted Ben Gibbard did not write “Handle With Care” (and neither did headlining artist, Jenny Lewis) but the cover of the Traveling Wilburys‘ classic is worth a mention just to hear Gibbard’s Roy Orbison impression. Its not the same operetic tenor as Orbison but Gibbard handles the vocal line tactfully for a song stealing performance.
MP3: Jenny Lewis featuring Ben Gibbard, M Ward, and Connor Oberst “Handle With Care”
09. Death Cab for Cutie “President of What?”
Mostly known as a guitar, drum, and bass combo but on their debut album, Something About Airplanes, Death Cab for Cutie wrote one of the better organ-pop tracks, “President of What?”
MP3: Death Cab for Cutie “President of What?”
08. All-Time Quarterback “Dinner At Eight In the Suburbs”
Ben Gibbard’s love for 1950s pop is present in some Death Cab for Cutie tracks but he really explored it with his one-off solo project, All-Time Quarterback. “Dinner At Eight In the Suburbs” mixes Pleasantville-esque Americana with Motown-like structure and melody.
MP3: All-Time Quarterback “Dinner At Eight In the Suburbs”
07. Death Cab for Cutie “I Will Possess Your Heart”
Leading up to the release of Narrow Stairs, Ben Gibbard told fans to prepare for an album unlike anything DCFC had ever done before. Although the album as a whole was not groundbreaking, its eight-and-a-half minute lead single was unique to say the least. The long, drawn out, noisy intro breaks into a catchy but untraditional pop song.
MP3: Death Cab for Cutie “I Will Possess Your Heart”
06. The Postal Service “Sleepin In”
Postal Service debut album, Give Up was Sub Pop‘s best selling album since Nirvana‘s Bleach but that is no surprise with tracks like “Sleepin In.” With Dntel‘s electronic lullabye production and Gibbard’s “strangest dream” lyrics, “Sleepin In” is one of the stand out tracks on the album and it was not even chosen as a single.
MP3: The Postal Service “Sleepin In”
05. Death Cab for Cutie “Soul Meets Body”
“Soul Meets Body” was a game changer for Death Cab for Cutie. Not only is it the band’s highest charting single but it was the track that took the band from indie rock darlings to legitimate hit makers.
MP3: Death Cab for Cutie “Soul Meets Body”
04. The Postal Service “Such Great Heights”
Four singles were officially released from Give Up but only “Such Great Heights” went gold. That may be due in part to the track’s incredible commercialization; it was in commercial spots for Ask.com, Kaiser Permanente, Target, UPS and M&M’s as well as on TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Veronica Mars.
MP3: The Postal Service “Such Great Heights”
03. Death Cab for Cutie “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”
“I Will Follow You Into the Dark” is Death Cab for Cutie’s most played on song on Spotify. While it would be easy to write this fact off as the same reason that an entire generation of girls love The Notebook but the truth is Ben Gibbard wrote a really endearing love song.
MP3: Death Cab for Cutie “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”
02. The Postal Service “The District Sleeps Alone”
“The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” peaked at number 3 on the Hot Dance Single Sales chart. It is hard to believe listening to the track that someone would consider this dance music but none-the-less that is an impressive feat. Of all the tracks on Give Up, the track features Dntel’s most stunning production between strings, intricate drum lines, and the droning organ backdrop.
MP3: The Postal Service “The District Sleeps Alone (DJ Downbeat Persistent Beat Mix)”
01. Death Cab for Cutie “Transatlanticism”
While “I Will Possess Your Heart” may have been an odd single, it was not unprecedented considering how popular the nearly eight minute “Transatlanicism” became half-a-decade before. The track was never formally released as a single but it became many people’s definitive Death Cab for Cutie track. It contains all the defining qualities of a good Ben Gibbard song: passive/aggressive dynamic, swelling crescendo, and an over arching theme of love.
MP3: Death Cab for Cutie “Transatlanticism”