Coping With the Deschanel-Gibbard Breakup: Vulture Analyzes the Musical Clues

DENVER - AUGUST 27: Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel perform on the VIP stage at Unconventional '08 at the Manifest Hope Gallery on August 27, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Timothy Norris/Getty Images) Photo: Timothy Norris/2008 Timothy Norris

Last night, indie-music enthusiasts the world over were (gently) rocked by the news that super-couple Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard are separating. They'd seemed so happy so very recently, and the timing was particularly puzzling, given Zooey's exploding TV stardom and both parties' recent albums. But maybe we were missing the signs? Could Zooey and Ben have been secretly preparing us for this turn of events? To try to make sense of the developments, Vulture went back to the source material — Death Cab for Cutie's Codes and Keys, released earlier this summer, and A Very She & Him Christmas — to search for clues. Below, our track-by-track analysis of the heartbreak.

"The Christmas Song"
Zooey, like Ben, chooses to end on a positive note, with a simple "Merry Christmas to you." Why does she have to say it in song? Because she won't get to tell Ben in person. Okay, this is getting depressing now. Stay strong, everyone (and maybe avoid Plans for a few weeks; that album is actually soul-crushing).