It’s a movie script ending for Death Cab For Cutie’s The Photo Album, or at least a deluxe reissue 20 years on. The band will give their third full-length album a 35-track repackaging in honor of the anniversary.

A favorite with many fans of the band’s earlier material (but, apparently, not a favorite of frontman Ben Gibbard), The Photo Album captures the Bellingham, Washington group on the brink of mainstream success, but not quite there yet. Twinkly guitars and lyrics from lovelorn to angst-ridden are central to the album’s sound. Bassist Nick Harmer remembers it as a turning point for the band.

“Should we quit our day jobs and really go all-in making music, or should we slow it down a little bit?” he recalls asking.  “We decided to go all-in.”

The Photo Album, first released October 9, 2001, will be remastered and bundled with the original demos and a slew of covers and rarities. That includes The Stability EP, covers of Bjork’s “All Is Full of Love” and The Stone Roses “I Wanna Be Adored,” previously unreleased material.

The physical reissue will feature the remastered album with a 12-inch record of The Stability EP and be limited to 5,000 copies on clear, 180-gram vinyl. Like the original release, when the band’s label, Barsuk Records, was plagued with distribution problems, this record comes into a world with increasingly absurd waitlists for vinyl manufacturing. Perhaps due to that fact, the vinyl reissue is expected in spring of 2022.

The digital reissue will be out 10/29. Preorder The Photo Album (Deluxe Edition) here.


Cameron Carr's writing has appeared in New Noise Magazine, Tuned Up, Susbtream Magazine, and The Deli, among other publications.

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