An accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Benjamin Gibbard is perhaps best known as the frontman of Death Cab for Cutie and music production supergroup The Postal Service. Gibbard was born in 1976 and spent his early life in Bremerton, Washington during the grunge music explosion of the early 1990s. Upon attending Western Washington University, Gibbard met a friend and co-founder of Death Cab for Cutie, Christopher Walla.
Gibbard and Walla, along with other members they picked up along the way, had monumental success with Death Cab for Cutie. This six-time Grammy nominee band was a major influence that defined the emo genre of music in the early 2000s. Although Gibbard would describe their music as “emo-adjacent”, their bittersweet love songs, stirring melodies, and Gibbard’s unmistakable voice definitely stirred up a lot of emotions for their listeners.
Gibbard also found success with his one-off electronic project, the Postal Service. Named after the courier service that Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello used to form a long distance indie-electronic relationship, this project further proved Gibbard’s incredible skills as a songwriter. The band released their debut album, Give Up, in 2003 on Sub Pop Records and was the second album on the imprint to go platinum (after Nirvana’s “Bleach”).
After years of working with other musicians, Gibbard put out his first solo album, “Former Lives” in 2013. His development as an artist culminated into an epic work of 12 tracks that felt liberated from his collective efforts with other collaborators. However, the mind behind the pen remained very visible to fans who were familiar with his past works. The poignant, polished lyrics along with Gibbard’s melancholic tone helps the album stand up well against his other discography. In an age of flash trends and viral songs of the moment, it’s difficult to find an artist like Gibbard who writes such sharp, highly detailed lyrics that leave you thinking about them long after they’ve been heard.