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10 albums you may like if you liked that Postal Service album

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:19 pm

With the Postal Service’s music appearing in just about every commercial on TV or radio currently and Give Up selling over 500,000 copies, which is huge for an indie album (100,000 is big for an indie album, many indie bands hope to sell around 15,000 copies of an album), I decided name a few other albums that you may like if you liked Give Up. The two elements brought together by the Postal Service are the electronica (IDM)-ish stuff by DNTEL aka Jimmy Tamborello and the indie rock/ pop by Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie).

The obvious:

  • The Notwist Neon Golden This one is obvious because it is completely awesome. This was the first album that I heard that had electronic elements in it along with indie rock/ pop elements that I liked. If I didn’t like this, I might not have liked the rest of these (good albums have a tendency to open your ears and mind to more music). It is darker and has more depth, both lyrically and musically than Give Up (on which I only consider one song to have any real depth, “This Place is a Prison”, which is not to say I don’t like the album.) Neon Golden has many organic elements that have been sampled and twist: banjo, guitars, woodwinds (plenty of sax), voice, drums.
  • DNTEL Life is Full of Possibilites This is obvious because the music is (mostly) by the same guy and it even has the beginnings of the Postal Service on it. The collaboration between DNTEL and Ben Gibbard started on the song “(This is) the Dream of Evan and Chan,” which is a standout track on this album.
  • Styrofoam Nothing’s Lost Styrofoam has opened for the Postal Service, has collaborated/ remixed indie songs before (his version of Postman by American Analog Set is incredible), and on this, his latest album, he even includes vocals and guitars by Ben Gibbard on it. I tend to like Styrofoam’s stuff more than DNTEL’s solo stuff. He tends to be more melodic and glitchy while DNTEL tends to be more atmospheric and blippy.

The not-as-obivous:

  • Her Space Holiday Young Machines One guy making somewhat depressing, but poppy records. He does all the music production and singing himself. Unless you think Ben Gibbard is too whiny when he sings, you’ll probably not like HSH’s vocals as much— they don’t have the range or melodic sense of Gibbard’s; they’re not in any sense bad though. Mostly electronic sounds with some organic ones throw in.
  • ms john soda No P or D This would be in the “obvious” list if the album that were in question were Neon Golden. This band shares members with the Notwist. It’s somewhat hard to describe exactly the different in sound between them and the Notwist: I’d say more organic sounds and lighter/ less dark/ less experimental. Compared to the Postal Service, I’d say one of the main differences besides the use of organic sounds would be that Gibbard’s vocals are pretty warm whereas the vocals of Stefanie Boehm have a detached sound to them.
  • The Album Leaf In a Safe Place It’s hard to classify this band. They have vocals on a few songs but many are instrumental. There are many orangic sounds: most of the tracks are based on riffs on a Rhodes and have real drum and guitar parts. They also often have heavily processed violin sounds and synthesized sounds and plenty of glitchy beats. Some very emotive music. A great album. Note: the earlier albums of this band don’t have any electronic stuff to them so if that’s what you’re looking for, don’t get those.
  • V/A Monster’s of Morr Music A compliation/ sampler from the Berlin-based label with a few tracks each by B. Fleischmann, Lali Puna, Duo 505, the Go Find and Styrofoam. Rather than try to recommend an album by each of these groups, I’d just get this, listen and figure out which you’d want to persue more. B. Fleischmann is melodic electronica with few words. Duo 505 has him in it, but has some sweet nintendo-like samples and tends to be more rhythmic and driving than his solo stuff. Lali Puna is sort of electro-rock with solid guitar and bass and drums but with some electronic elements. The Go Find is guitar + electronic pop stuff and I’ve already talked about Styrofoam’s stuff.
  • Aqueduct I Sold Gold This is quirky, often dark, bedroom electro synth pop. His lyrics are about such things as the influence of Guns N Roses on him and “packing” heat. It’s fun stuff.
  • Four Tet Rounds This is not indie pop at all. This is purely computer produced. It does however have mostly organic sounds and is pretty melodic in nature. According to iTunes, I’ve played track four (“My Angel Rocks Back and Forth”) 90 times since August 1, 2003 and though I haven’t played it in a while, it’s still in my top 10 most played songs.
  • the One Am Radio A Name Writ in Water This is glitchy, dark singer-songwriter stuff. It’s not really, but that’s probably the most effective way to describe it. Lots of acoustic guitar, violin, amospheric sounds and very intimate vocals.

Note: these are just some albums you might like. You might not like all of them. In fact there may be some you hate. Many of these bands have songs on their websites that you can listen to and get a feel for their music. Otherwise there are various forms of downloading music, both legal (Epitonic!) and otherwise.

2 Responses to “10 albums you may like if you liked that Postal Service album”

  1. Sherv Says:

    Neon Golden and Rounds are excellent; I concur. I also huvs you.

  2. leigh Says:

    hey adrian,

    i liked this entry a lot. i actually own most of those releases. very good stuff. this is leigh. i dated andy ages and ages ago. i was wondering if you could email me contact info for him. i haven’t talked to him in awhile. my old email died shortly after the last time we emailed and now i’m on the gmail wagon. anyways, please tell him to drop me a line or an im. i’m going to be back in va next week and hosting make-out party #7. sprites are headlining. he’d remember sprites. anyways, thanks adrian. :)


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