Song of the Day: The Postal Service - A Tattered Line of String

Local Music, Song of the Day
05/07/2013
Jacob Webb
photo by Autumn De Wilde

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “The Future Hunter” by The Postal Service from the 2013 album Give Up (Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition) on Sub Pop.

The Postal Service - A Tattered Line of String (MP3)

The result of a back-and-forth recording process between Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello and Death Cab For Cutie's Benjamin Gibbard, Give Up, The Postal Service's only album, slowly but surely became one of the decade's most enduring records. Although the album's release and brief tour was well-received, none of the parties involved could have foreseen that the album would be a steady seller and, more importantly, garner a slow-building reputation among listeners. After ten years away (and many interviews from Ben Gibbard denying any further activity from the group), and The Postal Service announced a reunion tour to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Give Up. (Illustrating how much the record organically grew across the last decade, the band is playing Key Arena this summer, when in 2003, they played two nights at the Crocodile.) Fleshing out the selection of b-sides and covers on the tour's associated reissue are a pair of new tracks, "A Tattered Line of String" and "Turn Around", that the duo worked on in 2006-2007 but never finished until earlier this year. (As pointed out in this excellent oral history of the album, Gibbard has "a folder on my desktop of stuff that Jimmy sent me that I never finished and probably never will.") The former track - described by Gibbard as being "about bad decisions" - is a bouncy, shining track that's a step away from the moody atmospherics found on Give Up. More akin to '80s synthpop, the track is maybe the only Postal Service track that seems custom built for dancing. Incorporating sorta-member Jenny Lewis' breathy harmonies and a heavy percussive beat, the song is well-suited to the large audiences that the band will surely play to throughout the summer.

The Postal Service are in the midst of their final tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Give Up, during which they'll visit the Pacific Northwest three times: they'll close the Sasquatch Music Festival on May 27th, play the Rose Garden Arena in Portland on July 17th, and fill Seattle's Key Arena the next day. (So, basically, it's only your fault if you don't go see them.) Get info and tickets, along with tour updates, at their Facebook and website, and watch the band play "A Tattered Line of String" below.

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