The Postal Service

The Postal Service is the long-distance collaboration between Death Cab for Cutie front man Benjamin Gibbard and electronic-music producer Jimmy Tamborello, who sometimes records under the name Dntel. The pair met when Gibbard contributed vocals to "(This Is) the Dream of Evan and Chan," a tune from Dntel's Life is Full of Possibilities album; psyched by the chemistry, Tamborello began sending Gibbard backing tracks in Washington, where Gibbard would write lyrics and add vocals and the occasional sliver of guitar before sending the music back to Tamborello in L.A. Give Up, their charming debut, is precisely the sum of its parts--the dreamy post-emo loveliness of Death Cab underpinned by Tamborello's squishy, glitchy dots and loops--and as such is likely the most inviting electronica you'll hear this year. Unless Jewel delivers on her promise to go techno, anyway.
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Mikael Wood