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On ‘The O.C.’s’ 20th anniversary, revisit Death Cab for Cutie’s “direct hit” of 2000s indie nostalgia

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Warner Records

The TV series The O.C., which celebrates its 20th anniversary Saturday, August 5, was many people’s introduction to the music of Death Cab for Cutie. For future DCFC guitarist Dave Depper, though, he was on the Death Cab train a bit earlier.

“I’m a little older school than that,” Depper tells ABC Audio. “My college girlfriend’s roommate was super hip with indie rock and stuff. I remember she had [2000 Death Cab album] We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes.”

Viewers of The O.C. would catch up with Depper a few years later when the show premiered in 2003. In addition to featuring Death Cab songs, the soundtrack to The O.C. included many other bands from the 2000s indie rock scene, such as Modest Mouse, Interpol, Bloc Party and LCD Soundsystem.

“The bands that were part of [that scene], you can just pick ’em out of a lineup immediately, and it immediately evokes a particular time,” Depper says. “I think that’s a reason that Death Cab’s had longevity, ’cause it is so easily tied back to this very seminal period in a lot of people’s lives, like, either high school or mid-20s or a particular relationship or whatever.”

“It’s not just lyrically, it’s not just [frontman] Ben [Gibbard‘s] very distinctive voice, it’s even the sound of these angular guitars and broken chords and stuff that all kind of were filtering through the sound of those few years,” he continues. “So I think we’re sort of a direct hit of that if you’re looking for that.”

For more of that “direct hit” of 2000s indie music, you can catch Death Cab for Cutie on tour with Gibbard’s other band, The Postal Service. The joint outing, which Depper dubs “Gib-Chella,” kicks off September 5 in Washington, D.C. 

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