The Postmarks’ self-titled first full-length release is a stellar display of talent and technique for this up-and-coming trio. The listener is invited to take a mellow stroll through a field of ambient strings and horns from this south Florida band.
“Goodbye” starts right in to what will be the familiar angelic quality to the vocals of Tim Yehezkely, which both calm and intrigue the listener. A good overture to the album, it features a solid, natural progression of continuously added layers of instruments, broken only by the tension-building horn flourishes. This persists with “Looks Like Rain”, in which a flush bridge section highlights an interesting take on the classic “AB” format.
Track two’s melancholy lyrics contrast well with song three, “Summers Never Seem to Last”. The delightful yet slightly spooky tones compliment the longing theme of the lyrics, and the complex yet streamlined arrangements of Christopher Moll and Jon Wilkins complete what is a full, rich sound. This becomes even more apparent in “Winter Spring Summer Fall”, which breaks down into a classic vocal round that brings the song’s melody full circle, and follows with “Watercolors”. While the pace begins to get somewhat repetitive, the fifth track resonates a lounge-like comfort with dynamic betweens the mild, earthy swing of the shakers and bright keys.
“Know Which Way the Wind Blows Little” is a bit more forward, yet sparse in modal jazz fashion. The album really begins to turn a corner, seeming to take on a darker quality, accentuated by the reverb-heavy organ. The seventh song, “Weather the Weather”, displays an interesting twist on an old style that, while they conform to the surf-rock motif in rhythm, The Postmarks retain a unique and recognizable sound that is all their own.
“Let Go” is an upbeat song that brings the listener back from a dip in the tempo and mood of the previous somber yet poetic “Leaves”, creating a natural-feeling arc to the entire album. This is continued by the dreamlike harmony of “You Drift Away”. “The End of the Story”, the last song on the album, features a plodding, sad ending to the full and complete tale that is this album. On this song especially, Yehezkely’s breathy tones are reminiscent of Jenny Conlee’s vocal prowess on The Decemberists’ “The Tain”.
The Postmarks delivers a high, orchestral sound that carries the listener through the air. Impressive as a debut LP, expect more in your mailbox from this young group.