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12 of the best major label debut albums

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Death Cab for Cutie – Plans

With an assist from Seth Cohen, Death Cab for Cutie’s fourth album Transatlanticism became a big hit for Barsuk Records, leading to the band signing a deal with Atlantic Records in 2004.

Despite their relatively out of nowhere It Band status, there wasn’t any guarantee that Death Cab’s particular brand of sensitive nerd-rock was going to make any dents in a crowded pop landscape (when was the last time you thought about Rooney?). But Plans would wind up reaching number 4 on the Billboard 200, sonically expanding the band’s mainstream appeal without drastically altering what had gotten them there in the first place, and catapulted Death Cab from indie darlings to unlikely rock stars.

Death Cab for Cutie – Plans
Photo: Death Cab for Cutie