Ben Gibbard sounds, vocally, like the kind of teenager who might say he was ‘too weird for the cool kids, too cool for the weird kids’. He’s nerdy, but confident. Smart, but naïve and unlucky. His adolescence is poignant: it places the songs on the dawn of something either exhilarating or terrifying. Tambarello’s beats offer the vocalist every chance at happiness, focusing on electronic beauty and light; at times, it seems like thousands of molecular, orchestrated conflicts are occurring under the surface. It’s a beautiful album about uncertainty and daydreaming. The duel between hope and fatalism is undoubtedly its headline fight.
A favourite: ‘We Will Become Silhouettes’