The Postal Service reunion brings me joy

Sarah Contreras

On January 21, the announcement I’ve been waiting years for finally came.

As I rubbed my sleep-bleary eyes, the words on my laptop screen came into focus. Hands raised to my mouth, I whispered, “Oh my God.” My whisper quickly changed to full-out yelling and jumping, my “oh my God”s becoming louder and more hysterical with each passing second.


My boyfriend dropped his piece of toast and ran into my bedroom. “What’s wrong? Are you okay? Are you hurt?!” Unable to form any other words, I pointed to the computer screen:

“The Postal Service to Reunite.”

While some might think this is an overreaction, fans of The Postal Service surely understand my glee.

(Those who know me know that everything in my life is an overreaction, and this is perfectly normal.)

The Postal Service, a synth-pop duo who found fame in the early 2000s, has been a staple in the hearts and music libraries of indie kids and those with great taste for almost a decade.

Unfortunately, the band seemed to exist in only a flash. A debut album, “Give Up,” turned out to be the only album, and the band toured for a year or so. When asked about a follow-up album, members Benjamin Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello made vague remarks until finally there was no more hope at all.

The Postal Service had come and gone before I graduated high school–rather, before I finally refined my musical tastes. To know that I would probably never see them live was heartbreaking, but it didn’t stop me from falling in love with them.

It should be said that my love is not exclusive to The Postal Service–I’m a huge fan of almost all of Gibbard’s endeavors, including the work he does with Death Cab For Cutie. In fact, the past eight or so years of my life could be soundtracked exclusively by Gibbard’s music and be perfectly on point.

All 10 songs off of “Give Up” would make that soundtrack. The album is so vital to my life and personality that all memories before it are in black and white, while every memory after I first heard “Such Great Heights” burst into wild technicolor.

And that’s the mark of great art, isn’t it? It puts words or form to formerly indescribable feelings, and it makes you feel like a great change has occurred–life will never be the same again.

Indeed, life hasn’t been the same for me. It’s different now because I can sing words like “I am finally seeing/that I was the one worth leaving” and understand the heartbreak behind them. I can listen to tracks like “Clark Gable” and feel the desperation for a happy ending.

Life is different now because when I’m seriously debating whether or not true creativity is finally dead, I can drop the needle onto “Give Up” and know that isn’t true.

There have been many, many sub-par imitators (Owl City, I’m sneering at you) since 2003. It’s frustrating that a new generation of music consumers are oblivious to the artistic roots of the plinky-plunky pop songs that blast into their ears. But it’s also a cause for hope. A 10th anniversary reissue of Give Up will be released soon, and with that comes the opportunity for people to get excited again.

Copies will be purchased, copies will be burned, and those who formerly knew nothing about it will understand what it is to wave from such great heights.