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Death Cab for Cutie Release Moving Tribute for Pipeline Explosion With “Kids in ’99”

Death Cab for Cutie are having quite a time this summer. Not only did they play at Lollapalooza this past weekend, they’re also rolling out great new releases. The Washington natives feature on Chance the Rapper‘s latest album The Big Day on “Do You Remember.” The band even brought Chance out during their Lolla set to show off the crossover live.

The alt-rock band isn’t all about a lighthearted summer, however. Their new single “Kids in ‘99” is a high energy account of a devastating explosion that occurred in their hometown, Bellingham. On June 10, 1999, a gas pipeline operated by the Olympic Pipeline Company exploded, killing three children and injuring eight others. The song is a tribute to those three children who died that day at Whatcom Creek.

Lead singer Ben Gibbard never fails to tell a vivid story with his folktale-like lyricism and “Kids in ‘99” is no exception. “In the waters where we used to swim / Where we thought we would be young forever,” Gibbard reminisces. “The beads that glistened on your sunburnt skin / Evaporated in the flames and embers.”

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That's a wrap on this latest leg of summer touring! Thanks so much to everybody who came out and danced and sang through blistering temperatures and thunderstorms – despite having been mostly on the road for the better part of a year, you're still making these shows so much fun for us, so thank you for that! It was a pleasure ending the run (and narrowly escaping a tornado) in western Canada with a pair of shows in Edmonton and Calgary. Next up: a quick dash over to Japan for @fujirock_jp, our sold-out Singapore show, followed by Chicago + @lollapalooza , two nights in San Diego, and our third appearance at the legendary @hollywoodbowl! There's some tickets still available, so get on it and we'll see ya there! 📷: @negative_____creep

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Gibbard remembers the day: “The Olympic Pipeline explosion in 1999 was a tragedy that really affected me while we were living in Bellingham. After all these years I felt it was worthy of its own folk song.”
The track off of their upcoming Blue EP has a somber yet high energy to it. Gibbard recounts the event while the drums continuously roll behind him.

The ever-moving guitar line creates a small sense of tension as the song moves along. The instrumental breaks between verses, giving off the stress of waiting for news. It makes you feel the memories of this small-town catastrophe, what could have been and instead how it’s just “Gone… Gone.”

The new EP from the band comes out September 6; in the meantime, check out “Kids of ‘99” below.

Featured Image: Instagram (@deathcabforcutie)

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