Released just a year after the full-length Thank You for Today, 2019's The Blue EP finds Death Cab for Cutie benefitting from working with a smaller canvass. The central tune of this five-track EP is "Kids in 99," a song written in tribute to three children who died in an explosion on the Olympic Pipeline in 1999. It has clean lines but a nervy energy, and its hushed outrage provides an emotional keystone for the record, which also contains the coiled "Before the Bombs." Death Cab doesn't depart from the cool textures and subtle melodies that distinguish Thank You for Today, but that added grace note of despair, outrage, and quiet urgency does give The Blue EP a subtle and welcome emotional resonance.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine