Contact Us

The Postal Service’s ‘Give Up’ – Revisiting a Millennium Classic

Postal Service
SubPop Records

‘Give Up,’ the debut (and so far only) album by the Postal Service, is a product of its time. The duo – Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard and electronic artist Jimmy Tamborello – were never in the same room during the making of the album. They mailed words, music, mixes and overdubs to each other (hence, the band’s name) until ‘Give Up’ took shape. And even though it wasn’t a huge hit back when it was released in 2003, ‘Give Up’ has since become one of the most beloved and influential works of the millennium.

Gibbard and Tamborello, who records under the name Dntel, first collaborated on a 2002 track called ‘(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan.’ The following year they reunited and began working on ‘Give Up’ with help from Gibbard’s Death Cab bandmate Chris Walla and Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley. The 10 tracks that surfaced dipped into 1980s synth-pop for their main inspiration, creating a spiral of hopeful songs about love and companionship in the modern world.

The album’s best tracks – ‘The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,’ ‘Such Great Heights’ and ‘We Will Become Silhouettes’ – layer Gibbard’s plaintive voice over humming synths and whirring machine blips. It’s space-age bachelor pad music updated for the new millennium. It’s also fragile music, balancing on the edge of breaking at times. ‘Give Up’ almost demands late-night, no-distractions listening.

Since its release 10 years ago, ‘Give Up’’s legacy has grown tremendously. The album didn’t make it any higher than No. 114, but it finally went platinum last year. Its influence can be heard in everything from today’s underground chillwave artists to Top 40 hitmaker Owl City, who pretty much ripped off the Postal Service’s entire sound and style. A ‘Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition’ of the album was released in 2013 with an entire disc of rarities, B-sides, remixes and new songs.

Watch the Postal Service’s Video for ‘Such Great Heights’

Next: Cat Power's 'You Are Free' Album Released

Best of the Web

More From Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://diffuser.fm using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Diffuser.fm quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Register on Diffuser.fm quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!