The Postmarks, KaiserCartel, This Story, Rodeo Ruby Love
The Launching Pad, Muncie
Friday, Aug. 3
It’s been quite a year for the Postmarks. The Florida indie-pop band, who spent several weeks in the Top 20 of the “CMJ” Top 200 before they even released their self-titled debut album last February, were invited to take the Lollapalooza stage Sunday morning thanks to a debut album that met expectations. “I think we knew the album would have some degree of impact but not to the level it’s gotten,” said guitarist Christopher Moll when the Postmarks made a stop Friday night at the Launching Pad in Muncie, Ind. “To be playing Lollapalooza, I don’t think any of us anticipated that.”
The band, also consisting of vocalist Tim Yehezkely and drummer Jonathon Wilkins, came together three years ago when Moll was interested in starting a new project. “I’d been working with Jon previously and he knew what I was looking to put together: a romantic, heart-on-your-sleeve sound,” he said. “Jon was DJing at an open mic night, and Tim showed up to play. She blew him away. He said, ‘I think I found the person you are looking for.’ He asked her to perform the next week and I came by to check her out and felt the same way.
“It took a little while to get on the same page and figure out how we would pull this off,” he added. In 2005, they met producer Andy Chase who mixed their album and released it on his label, Unfiltered Records. The finished product was an anachronistic sound meant more for a ’60s lounge than college radio — reminiscent of France’s Serge Gainsbourg at his finest. Listening to it is like sneaking a peek at private love letters full of longing and loss. Yehezkely’s ethereal vocals drift through each track like an intimate whisper while Moll and Wilkins sprinkle the songs with lavish orchestrations, filling them with fluttering horns, chirping violins, swooning guitars and shy strings that linger in the background.
Friday night at the Launching Pad, as they’ve done in previous performances, the band showed they could adapt their melancholy arrangements into numbers that bristle with rock energy. Live, the songs become urgent confrontational pleas. Bolstered by the additions of keyboardist Jeff Wagner and bassist Brian Hill, and with Wilkins’ drums acting as a catalyst, the four men created a loud soundscape that stayed true to the source material, but escalated in intensity as if each musician was desperately vying for Yehezkely’s affections. But their game of one-upmanship fell on deaf ears. Yehezkely stood despondent at center stage, clutching her long strands of hair, her soft vocals gliding through the air. Only twice did emotion escape her indifferent façade: when she shouted, “I’m not going to look back,” while performing the band’s first single, “Goodbye,” and at the very end of their nine-song set when she jumped around the stage, banging a tambourine against her thigh.
Despite some technical difficulties, the band’s performance was both a dramatic love story and rock ’n’ roll fun.
Recently, they recorded an appearance for a new Nickelodeon children’s show entitled “Yo Gabba Gabba!” In September, they plan to start releasing a series of cover songs through the Internet. And then there is the sophomore album to consider. “I think when we get home we’ll try to start working on the second album,” Moll said. “We have some ideas hopping around.”