From an ambient sonic fog swells my favorite first note of any song. Death Cab for Cutie’s opener off their 2003 album Transatlanticism, “The New Year” has an energy that opens so quickly it is reminiscent of a black hole taking in a piece of matter. Instead of condensing the matter into a miniscule entity, it explodes like a red giant engulfing everything around it in a body of sound. The song doesn’t become static with this explosion of guitar. The turnaround turns down the overdrive, while Gibbard sings a sweet melody straight to his listener. Not to be caught going just one direction, Walla takes back the energy and over Gibbard’s sweet vocals brings the listener back with a flare of distortion. Death Cab knows the power of dynamics, and when the static descends nearing the four minute mark I realize the musical ride I just had.