There was a certain palpable electricity in the air last night. The rising chorus of cicadas, and other foreboding sounds of summer; the smell of a fading thunderstorm and the promise that in the morning, we would be getting an announcement from titans of the indie movement, The Postal Service.
It felt like Christmas. Emo Christmas. For a normally brooding bunch, we were awfully excited. Brooding, though we may be.
But Postal Service fans around the world are feeling the savage sting of disappointment today, during a pandemic no less, after learning just what the announcement actually was. Or more accurately put, to learn what the announcement wasn’t.
You see, after close to two decades with no music and constant rumours of hope, The Postal Service fans are particularly on edge when it comes to new music from the indie cult darlings. Following 24 hours of “what if’s” set off by a cryptic post on their social media, the big announcement ended up being, well…it was fine. I guess.
Rather than new music, a live stream, or any announcement pertaining to the trumphant return of The Postal Service to our speakers in any way, shape or form, we got a skit, set to the cold ambience of a Zoom call.
Seizing the moment of just how topical their name has become in the US election, and what has no doubt become an SEO nightmare for the band, The Postal Service teamed up with voting organisation HeadCount, tagging in some unquestionably impressive celebrity names to encourage their fans to register to vote in the upcoming federal election.
Taking place in the midst of a ficticious Zoom meeting with a record label exec, the premise of the skit revolves around finding a new and exciting member to join the band. Throughout the 20-odd minute video, we watch on as musicians including Kenny G, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Slash, and Huey Lewis, as well as comedian Patton Oswalt and actress Anne Hathaway all try out for this newly available position in The Postal Service, each with varying degrees of success. Don’t get me wrong, there are chuckles to be had, once you get past the fact that there’s no new music.
Real band members Ben Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello and Jenny Lewis watch on with emotions that span from disbelief to geniune joy as their peers and contemporaries attempt to add their flavour to the delicate Postal Service soundscape of beeps, bops and taps. Jimmy looks particularly confused about the situation, as in “blink twice if you’re OK” kind of confused.
At the end of the day, we Postal Service fans are but humble content monks, and will accept whatever we’re given. However, it’s hard to not side with the general vibe of fellow fans in the comment section, that this may have been somewhat of a reckless use of the word ‘announcement.’
Our watch for new music from The Postal Service will continue unheeded.