Mattering, as both subject and object, was the animating principle of Transatlanticism. The impulse began with Death Cab for Cutie deciding to embrace their creative and professional ambition, risk losing their place on the tour-record-tour treadmill (as addressed obliquely in “Expo ‘86”) and commit to making a record that required more time, money and effort than any they’d made previously. It then manifested in the music, which dealt with the consequences of failing to recognize what matters, of having no option but to endure the full impact of proper, adult-scale loss while yearning to break free of the failings that led to it. And it extended to the audience: These songs sounded an extraordinarily deep note among a generational cohort of listeners who were on the verge or in the midst of the same process.