Named for the courier service that allowed them to trade song ideas while living in different locales, the Postal Service were a short-lived supergroup featuring Jimmy Tamborello (leader of the electronica bands Dntel and Figurine) and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard.
Adding to the project's star status were Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and former Tattle Tale member Jen Wood, both of whom contributed backing vocals to the band's mix of bubbling electronica and indie pop. Tamborello and Gibbard first worked together in 2001, when Gibbard provided vocals for the title track of Dntel's This Is the Dream of Evan and Chan EP. From there, the duo continued to collaborate via mail, with Tamborello sending instrumental tracks and Gibbard adding guitars, vocals, and lyrics. The results were packaged into the group's only album, Give Up, which was released in 2003 by Sub Pop. The disc had sold over 500,000 copies by 2005, prompting the band's co-founders to begin work on a second album. Work stalled as both musicians found themselves devoting more time to their main projects, however, and the Postal Service remained on indefinite hiatus for the rest of the decade. During that time, Tamborello continued to work on Dntel albums such as 2007's Dumb Luck and 2012's Aimlessness. Likewise, Gibbard resumed work with Death Cab for Cutie on albums like 2003's breakthrough Transatlanticism; in 2012, Gibbard released his first solo album, Former Lives. The following year, Gibbard and Tamborello reunited to commemorate Give Up's tenth anniversary, an event that included the release of a deluxe reissue of the album as well as dates at that year's Coachella Festival and other festivals. ~ Heather Phares