My Top 1000 Songs #244: The Sound Of Settling
I came a little late to Death Cab For Cutie (a band I've grown to love). I think it was those early associations with emo (however much disclaimed by the band and many fans) or angsty post-adolescent indie rock in general; when 2003's Transatlanticism came out, I was approaching 40 years old, and based on what I'd read I kind of assumed it wouldn't really click.
But I begrudgingly checked out the album sometime thereafter, and was surprised to find I really enjoyed it. Part of the reason was no doubt "The Sound Of Settling," an inescapably catchy indie pop song. The chorus bah-bahs are unfailingly smile-inducing, and, youthful angst or not, the self-deprecating disappointment over the narrator's shyness rang true to my own experience (sort of an updating of the Smiths' "Ask"). "I'll sit and wonder of every love that could have been, if I'd only thought of something charming to say."
I ended up liking some of the albums that came later (particularly 2005's Plans and 2008's Narrow Stairs) even more, as they dropped some of the rougher lo-fi edges and expanded their musical sophistication. But this tune has stuck with me not as just a killer sing-along earworm, but as one of those songs you'll always appreciate for getting you to open new doors.