The title of Death Cab for Cutie’s eighth album is a window into the band’s soul. “Kintsugi” refers to a Japanese artform in which broken pottery is repaired in a manner that highlights cracks rather than hiding them, helping to tell the tale of the object’s life. The Washington state rockers have weathered some breaks, including the departure of multi-instrumentalist and longtime producer Chris Walla — who departed after “Kintsugi,” which was produced by Rich Costey (Vampire Weekend) — and frontman Ben Gibbard’s divorce from actress Zooey Deschanel. You’ll find oblique references, but it’s just as easy to find yourself in these 11 tracks, which veer from spare acoustic ballads to bouncy rockers and synth-laden pop. Bereft protagonists include the edged-out narrator of “No Room in Frame,” the forlorn soul of “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” — who returns to the crime scene looking for clues — and the stranded mope of the tragically funny, bouyantly melancholy “Everything Is a Ceiling.” (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive”
Death Cab For Cutie performs at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion Sept. 11.