By the time Death Cab For Cutie got to their sixth studio album, they were in a weird place. As former indie darlings, they had attained enough mainstream success to be that band that every hipster hated to admit they used to love. The group was coming off the release off their highly accessible 2005 album, Plans and it started to seem like Ben Gibbard and company had little experimentation left in them. That wasn't the case.
Narrow Stairs contained some of Death Cab's darkest, heaviest work ever, and the album version of the first single, "I Will Possess Your Heart," was over eight minutes long. Fans who wanted that warm, straightforward, comforting indie were left scratching their heads, but with this album, Death Cab cemented their spot as one of the few long-lasting indie bands who never got too comfortable to think outside the box they had built for themselves.