An on-again, off-again side project responsible for one of the best-selling records in Sub Pop history, the Postal Service consists of Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) and electro-pop producer Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel). The duo met in early 2001, when Gibbard contributed vocals to a song on Dntel's Life Is Full of Possibilities. They decided to collaborate, but since Tamborello lived in Los Angeles and Gibbard in Seattle, unfinished tracks were sent over the mail (hence the band name), with Gibbard layering vocals over Tamborello's blipping synths.
The resulting songs — which included vocals from Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and singer Jen Wood — were eventually released in 2003 as Give Up (Number 114). The first single, "Such Great Heights" (2003), was sparse and warm, a heartbeat of a song; it was quickly embraced by both lovesick teens and 1980s-obsessed grown-ups. Two other EPs followed — The District Sleeps Alone Tonight (2003) and We Will Become Silhouettes (2005) — and Give Up enjoyed a long run on the college charts, eventually selling more than 650,000 copies. In 2004, the group became well known enough to draw the attention of the United States Postal Service, which issued a cease-and-desist order over the rights to its name; all was forgiven when Gibbard and Tamborello performed for a company function.
Because of the members' various commitments, Postal Service fans have had to make do with the occasional B-side or soundtrack contribution, most notably a gauzy version of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)." A follow-up album is in the works, with an intended late 2009 release.
Band begins follow-up to 2011's 'Codes and Keys'
Karen O channeling Robert Plant? Rad! We picked one essential cover from each of the last ten years
'Not only is this the last song of the tour, this is the last song we will ever do'
Group performs a pair of songs, including a web exclusive
Duo gives new meaning to 'spin cycle' in topsy-turvy laundromat
Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello join together again for Brooklyn arena show
New Order, Postal Service, 2 Chainz and more take the stage for Day Two
Phoenix, the Postal Service, the Killers, Vampire Weekend are also set to play
Lineup also said to include Phoenix, the Killers, Postal Service and the National
Moby, Tom Delonge and 'Weird Al' try out for the electronic band
Previously unreleased track will be on 'Give Up' reissue
Ex-Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis will play with the duo
Sub Pop also releasing deluxe version of 'Give Up' for 10th anniversary