The cult indie-tronica band, consisting of Gibbard along with Jimmy Tamborello and Jenny Lewis, released their debut and only album ‘Give Up’ in 2003. They reunited for an anniversary tour to mark a decade of the album in 2013 before they disbanded once more.
Fans grew excited about what the future might have in store when the band launched a series of cryptic teasers back in October, but it led only to a parody ‘Zoom’ audition for new members – featuring the likes of Slash, Anne Hathaway, Weird Al, Kenny G and Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie to encourage people to vote.
Now, Death Cab For Cutie frontman Gibbard has dashed any hopes that might be remaining of another album from The Postal Service.
“I love Jimmy and Jenny so much, but the dream or idea of doing more music kind of died when we attempted to make the second record in 2004 and 2005,” Gibbard told NME.
“I was writing for [Postal Service debut] ‘Give Up’ and [Death Cab’s] ‘Transatlanticism’ at the same time in 2001 and 2002. The Postal Service obviously didn’t exist at that point, but Death Cab wasn’t touring a lot – we were still very self-contained as just four of us in a van with a merch person. The workload and expectations weren’t anything like what they became later so I had so much free time to have these things going at the same time.”
Gibbard went on to explain how the spirit of the time is what largely fed The Postal Service’s creativity.
“Being 26 and cocky enough to think, ‘Oh, this is fine – I’ll just do five records at the same time’, means you have a lot more runway in front of you creatively,” Gibbard continued. “‘Give Up’ was put together so relatively effortlessly that there weren’t a lot of second thoughts and it flowed so naturally. When we started working on a second record, it became very obvious that this was going to be very difficult to find the time to follow up a record that had had such an unexpected moment.
“Plus Death Cab was touring for nine or 10 months of the year, so there was just no way to give the time to both.”
He added: “You want to never say never, but no one should be holding their breath waiting for Postal Service music coming any time soon. We haven’t worked on anything. We stay in touch as friends, but that’s kind of the extent of it.”
Speaking to NME in 2019, Jenny Lewis said that she was left inspired by their 2013 anniversary tour – but more in terms of seeking to reunite with her other band Rilo Kiley.
“I did a Postal Service reunion tour a couple of years ago, so I’m open to anything these days,” she said. “My mantra is: ‘Yes’.”
Gibbard was speaking to NME for the launch of his new Fender Mustang Signature guitar, which he says is inspiring the sound of the new Death Cab album along with the mood of lockdown.
“I find myself in an interesting position in my life that is being strangely mirrored by this time we’re living in,” he told NME.
“As I move into my 40s, my relationship to my city and my friends has gone through some interesting changes just due to people’s lives drifting a little bit. There is a theme of the loss of time and the finite amount of it that we all have. This last year of our lives has put a fine point on the fact that we are all mortal and only here for a brief period of time. It goes by quicker than you think.”
He added: “Love and death are always big things for me, but there’s a new component about how quickly time moves and how impermanent our existence here truly is.”
Back in December, The Postal Service released their live album ‘Everything Will Change’ digitally for the first time.