Be honest. At some point in the last six or so months you’ve screamed the words, “HEY HEEEEEEEYYYYYYYY, MARRY ME ARRRRRRCHIIIIIIIEEEEE!” Maybe it was in the car, the shower or some embarrassing public place. Hell, I’ve been caught humming it a little too loudly on a rush hour L train more than a few times. Alvvays’ excellent debut may have dropped in July, but I seriously still can’t get album highlight “Archie, Marry Me” out of my head.
Well, it turns out we’re not alone as Ben Gibbard has joined in on the fun. Back in November, the Death Cab For Cutie frontman took the stage for a solo show in his hometown of Seattle at the Neptune Theater. After working through many Death Cab songs, Gibbard paused the show and said, “One of the things I look forward to whenever I do these solo shows is I get to play some cover songs and things that I like and I am going to play my favorite song of the year.”
Over a simple but beautiful piano line, Gibbard launched into a slowed down but faithful cover of the Alvvays track. Gibbard trades in the original’s mid-90s guitar sheen for something that would have been at home on side two of Plans. The cover is sweet and sincere, elevating the original from a sunny summer anthem to something entirely different, with the end product not unlike Bon Iver’s incredible take Bonnie Raitt’s “I Cant Make You Love Me.”
A short video of the performance made its way online a couple days after the show but after two months, the full high quality video is worth the wait. The video caps off an already big week for Seattle’s finest as their new record Kintsugi was announced, ending one of the quietest periods in the band’s history. On the other hand, Alvvays look to continue their breakthrough year with a triumphant return to the East Coast as the openers for The Decemberists (and a headlining show at Bowery Ballroom on April 2nd). Look out for Death Cab’s Kintsugi, which drops on March 31st via Atlantic and stream Ben Gibbard’s beautiful Alvvays cover above.