One Track Mind: Postal Service – Turn Around (2013)

Welcome back, Postal Service — this time for real. “Turn Around” is a squelchy, hook-focused dance number, but with the kind of lyrical midnight-blue melancholy that propelled the glorious X-fueled nihilism of New Order back in the 1980s. And, of course, Ben Gibbard’s Postal Service, some two decades later.

Yet, that complexity — “Turn Around” begins, after all, like a funhouse lullaby — was strangely missing in the fussy, relentlessly upbeat, very Owl City-ish “A Tattered Line of String,” which represented the first new track in a decade from this indie-electro, synth-pop project.

Somehow, here, Postal Service makes a desperately sad plea for a return of this misshapen, quickly disappearing love (“turn around, turn around, turn around”) into something oddly beautiful. I guess I don’t like them all that happy.

The occasion for this new music is the 10th anniversary reissue of Postal Service’s lone long-player, 2003′s Give Up. The two-disc CD or triple-disc LP set, due April 9, 2013 via Sub Pop, will include additional in-studio performances, B-sides and these two just-completed songs.

The duo, again featuring Jimmy Tamborello of DNTEL along with Death Cab for Cutie’s Gibbard, is also set for a long-awaited reunion tour.

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.