Jul 13, 2021
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Andrew Paynter
Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie has teamed up with San Francisco producer Tycho (aka Scott Hansen) for the new song, “Only Love.” Those hoping for Gibbard’s The Postal Service to reunite can scratch that electro-pop itch with this new single, which is out now on Mom + Pop and Ninja Tune. Listen to it below via a visualizer designed by Hansen.
Gibbard and Hansen first worked together with Tycho remixed Death Cab for Cutie’s “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” in 2015.
“I had been a fan of Ben’s work for a long time when…I had the chance to do a remix for Death Cab for Cutie’s track ‘The Ghosts of Beverly Drive,’” says Hansen in a press release. “Ben’s voice was a very inspiring element to work with from a production standpoint, I felt it really meshed well with the kinds of sounds and instrumentation I gravitate towards. ‘Only Love’ started life as an instrumental, but something was missing. I sent a rough demo to Ben and he recorded some vocals over it. The first time I heard the rough vocals the whole song suddenly made sense and the arrangement flowed out of that. After my early experimentations with vocals on Weather this felt like a great opportunity to put everything I had learned during that process into practice. It was certainly an honor to be able to work with such an iconic voice.”
“In 2014 while reading This Changes Everything: Capitalism and The Climate by Naomi Klein, I came across a quote from Montanan goat rancher and environmentalist Alexis Bonogofsky that moved me immensely,” says Gibbard. “Speaking about the fight to protect public lands in southeastern Montana from the mining company Arch Coal, she said: ‘[The] connection to this place and the love people have for it, that’s what Arch Coal doesn’t get. They underestimate that. They don’t understand it so they disregard it. And that’s what in the end will save that place. It’s not the hatred for the coal companies, or anger, but love will save that place.’
“When Scott sent me the music for ‘Only Love,’ it seemed perfect for this statement. Since reading Alexis’ words, I’ve carried them as a universal truth; that the only way we preserve the people, places or things we care for is with love, not hatred. This is often easier said than done, of course. But I find myself coming back to her statement as if it were a mantra.
“I grew up hiking and camping on public lands here in Washington State and my love for them has only increased since becoming a mountain / ultra / trail runner. They were in the forefront of my mind while working on this song.”
One of the reliable fixtures of the early days of COVID-19 and the lockdown was Gibbard performing his Live From Home livestreaming solo concerts from his home studio. Gibbard started out doing daily concerts and then switched to a weekly format, doing livestreams from March to late May last year. Gibbard has raised over $250,000 during the course of his Live From Home concerts. Last year he released two solo singles, “Proxima B” and “Life in Quarantine,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. Benefits from “Life in Quarantine” went to Aurora Commons. The song was also performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert back in May.
Also read our 2018 The End interview with Gibbard about endings and death.
Tycho 2021 Tour Dates:
23 – Brooklyn, NY – The Brooklyn Mirage (ISO50 Set)
24 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheater (DJ Set)
14 – Palm Springs, CA – Splash House (DJ Set)
5 – Chicago, IL – North Coast Festival (ISO50 Set)
Ben Gibbard Solo 2021 Tour Dates:
26 – Newport Folk Festival – Newport, RI
Death Cab For Cutie 2021 Tour Dates:
3 – Bozeman, MT – The Elm ^ [SOLD OUT]
4 – Missoula, MT – KettleHouse Amphitheater ^
6 – Bend, OR – Les Schwab Amphitheater ^
7 – Nampa, ID – Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater ^
8 – Spokane, WA – Spokane Pavilion at Riverfront ^
10 – Ogden, UT – Ogden Twilight ^ [SOLD OUT]
11 – Vail, CO – Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater ^
13 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre * [SOLD OUT]
15 – Las Vegas, NV – The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan #
16 – Reno, NV – Grand Theatre at Grand Sierra Resort #
17 – Napa, CA – Oxbow RiverStage #
^ with support from Deep Sea Diver
* with support from Perfume Genius
# with support from illuminati hotties