The Postal Service - A Tattered Line Of String

What made The Postal Service so loved - the tension between Tamborello's intricate production and Gibbard's idiosyncratic voice - remains.

Posted 13th February 2013, 5:04pm in Track Reviews, by Danny Wright
the postal service - give up

It may have taken The Postal Service ten years to offer up a new track but, luckily for fans of delicately delivered existential angst (and who isn’t?), ‘A Tattered Line of String’ shows their sound hasn’t dated anywhere near as badly as The OC.

One of two new songs to be taken from the 10th-anniversary reissue of Give Up, it sees Ben Gibbard again playing the fragile narrator as he tells us about a couple who, for all their trying, can't make their relationship work out. "When we woke we agreed that we would not ever speak of this night to anyone".

Same story, different decade, you could well be thinking. But if all this gives the feeling that ‘Tattered Line’ is some casually tossed off b-side dusted down to promote their money spinning tour, don’t fear. Thankfully this is far better than it had any right to be. It won’t be changing anyone’s mind about the band but it’s full of a spark and bounce that pitches it somewhere in between the traditional Postal Service and Death Cab sounds – which surprisingly means something akin to the arch pop of the Pet Shop Boys.

There are still Tamborello’s  whooshes and buphs of the trademark bubbling keyboards but here the sound is augmented by a very 80s sounding guitar line and stuttering Jenny Lewis backing vocals.

Lyrically Gibbard is on typically yearning form with lines such as “We did some things that we knew not to do/ In the glow of the night’s golden hue.”

It means that what made The Postal Service so loved - the tension between Tamborello's intricate production and Gibbard's idiosyncratic voice – remains. Seth Cohen, wherever he is now (probably working on Wall Street), will be pleased.



'A Tattered Line Of String' features on the 10th Anniversary re-issue of 'Give Up', released via Sub Pop on 8th April 2013.
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