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

Nick DeRiso has also explored music for publications like USA Today, Gannett News Service, All About Jazz and Popdose for nearly 30 years. Honored as newspaper columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section that was named Top 10 in the nation by the AP in 2006. Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.