Death Cab for Cutie Ben Gibbard’s cover of Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Bandwagonesque’ is glorious

Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard’s cover of Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Bandwagonesque‘ is glorious

Last year, Death Cab for Cutie‘s lead singer Ben Gibbard was asked by Turntable Kitchen to pick an album he would love to cover in its entirety and produce a vinyl-only version of it. One album. Any album. So Gibbard chose Teenage Fanclub’s brilliant 1991 album Bandwagonesque.

Ben Gibbard’s version of Bandwagonesque is now available either on vinyl, and only from Turntable Kitchen, or via stream or download on Spotify etc.

Gibbard has also released a series of animated videos on Death Cab for Cutie’s YouTube channel of every song from his new solo venture today. Videos that add a charming element to these really lovely songs. Songs that are quite a bit softer than their originals.

And why did Gibbard choose Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque? After all, they are a Scottish alternative rock band that many people may have missed, and Bandwagonesque an album that is, after all, over 25 years old?

As Gibbard explained to The Guardian more beautifully than I ever could:

There was a show on MTV called 120 Minutes that played underground indie and alternative videos. I would tape it on VHS and watch it over the course of the next week. The first Teenage Fanclub song I heard on it was probably The Concept – it was so melodic and beautiful, and the harmonies were amazing, but at the same time, like the punk rock I was listening to, I could see myself playing it.

When I bought Bandwagonesque, it felt attainable to me, but also from some other magical world of music that I could only dream of travelling to. Teenage Fanclub, four men from Scotland, were making music that seemed to grab me by the heart and lift me off the ground. There was such an openness. I fell in love immediately.

Listen to Ben Gibbard’s version of ‘The Concept‘, that first Teenage Fanclub that had such a huge impact on him, in the animated video below.

And then listen to all the others as well. He really has done a gorgeous job.

About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered anime, manga, K-drama and music news for over a decade.