Because you can’t truly make a dignified solo record with a shortened first name, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard is suddenly ‘Benjamin’ Gibbard. At least he isn’t operating under “Benjamin” (that’s for pop stars to do). While it doesn’t really have anything to do with the music he makes, the pomp may actually be a good thing. Take this track, for instance. It contains mariachi horns which wouldn’t probably fit on a Death Cab album (actually these are Gibbard’s direct words) and far more optimism than that which made their last album such an outcast in a catalogue that caters heavily to outcasts. Every songwriting bandmember should get a taste of the air outside of their regular community every once in a while. Ben (or ‘Benjamin’) is doing just that. And it’s refreshing. Look forward to his first solo record (Former Lives) which comes out October 16.