It’s been 17 years since The Postal Service released 'Give Up', an album that would bring indietronica to the mainstream with its strangely tender mix of breakbeat and folk. Everyone from Apple to the Postal Service itself took inspiration from the supergroup consisting of Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Dntel’s Jimmy Tamborello. Everything Will Change is remastered from their 2014 concert film, which was released after their tenth anniversary reissue, snaring the album a platinum certification and a cult legacy.
Some of the albums’ greatest hits are captured beautifully in the mixing: its lead single, ‘Such Great Heights’, retains its distinct, bubbling introduction, complete with a more percussive guitar solo and the screams of approval from the crowd. And although Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley replaces Jen Wood on ‘Nothing Better’, the awkward mix of Gibbard’s softboi simping and Lewis’ irritated reality check creates some fantastic chemistry. The real highlight, however, is the brutalist ‘Natural Anthem’: extended into a six-minute masterpiece, it crackles with chaotic, glitching rage against its haunting, wailing sample.
That’s not to say that all blemishes have been removed – the subtle pulses of ‘We Will Become Silhouettes’ are rendered too muddy to be effective, whilst the hazy dream-world of ‘Sleeping In’ loses much of its gentility with Gibbard’s vocals uncomfortably at the forefront. The Postal Service also play their cover of Beat Happening’s ‘Our Secret’, whose warm, jangly riffs stick out like a sore thumb against the distanced, icy atmosphere of the set list.
Nevertheless, 'Everything Will Change' is a fantastic testament to a landmark album in the indie genre. One can’t help but think that 'Everything Will Change' was more a symbolic release than commercial, though – as if Gibbard and Tamborello know that for now, 'Give Up' will remain an album too close for comfort.
Words: Alex Rigotti
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