mp3: Styrofoam – Couches In Alleys ft. Ben Gibbard (2004)

02.11.2009

most people associate ben gibbard’s forays into electro-pop with the postal service, but i personally think this track manages to outshine all of his other electronic achievements (well, maybe not dntel’s this is the dream of evan and chan). the juxtaposition of the glitchy, clangy beat and ben gibbard’s smooth, slightly vocoded (!) vocals works miraculously, and makes jimmy tamborello’s postal service era production seem a tad underwhelming in comparison. it’s also an interesting detour in content, with the imagined dialogue with author Jack Kerouac foreshadowing themes that would appear in Death Cab’s more recent work (“Bixby Canyon Bridge” on Narrow Stairs). styrofoam didn’t have quite enough name recognition for this song to catch on much over here, but this relative hidden gem is some of the finest work of either artist.

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