While anticipating Death Cab for Cutie’s new album which drops at the end of May, I had to relish in the comfort of various Ben Gibbard tracks to get me by till then. Sure enough, I revisited one of my favorite tracks from 6 years ago which features Ben providing vocals on Styrofoam’s – Couches in Alleys. Following in line with Postal Service, the track collaboration was timely as the new wave of electro-pop was emerging into the airwaves then. After an extended intro, Ben’s lyrics echo harmonically with Styrofoam’s melodic synthesizer steady break beats:
Hey Jack it’s me,
I don’t mean to bother you but somethings been on my mind.
At the end of this road that climbs the horizon, will be reached in a matter of miles.
And when the wheels cease to spin, the walls and the fences will grow higher than redwood trees.
And I know your demise.
And I fear what will happen when the road fails to flow under me.
Oh Jack you see, I felt like your mirror with the wind ripping through my hair.
When the wheels ceased to spin and I in case my surroundings, I realized I hadn’t gone anywhere.
With the problems I’d left with couches in alleys, that no one would ever claim.
And the hardest part was sifting through the pieces of the rain soaked and rotten remains when I got home.”
The song addresses Jack Kerouac and his connection to the author. Ben is personifying the message to anyone who get too caught up in pursuit of a goal or dream. Anyone can easily forget what really signifies their life and ultimately could tarnish the relationships which matter the most in the end. This track is best served with a reflective mood on a rainy day, enjoy.