You've got to hand it to Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello: Even when they're not making music as the Postal Service, they're still kinda sorta making Postal Service music. Or at least inspiring credible facsimiles.
Confused? Well, now you know what it feels like to be a Postal Service fan, especially in the weeks following the Internet release of "The Importance of Being." The song was purported to be a demo from the new, hotly anticipated PS album, which still doesn't have a title or proper release date.
It all started earlier this month, when "Being" — a chiming slice of electro-pop in the spirit of the Postal Service's "We Will Become Silhouettes" — began to make its way around various music blogs. The song was accompanied by an unverified quote from Gibbard that seemed to indicate that work on the new album was well under way, with him, Tamborello and Rilo Kiley frontwoman (and Postal Service contributor) Jenny Lewis each writing sections of the record.
It was news that had Postal Service fans, who have been waiting years for a new LP, quivering with excitement. The song's similarity to the band's earlier material — coupled with the fact that Gibbard told MTV News in June that he and Tamborello had been sending each other songs via e-mail (see "Ben Gibbard's Postal Service Prepping Next Delivery: Second LP") — made even the most skeptical music blogger at least consider the fact that "Being" could be the real deal, an honest-to-goodness leaked demo.
There was only one problem: It wasn't.
That's according to Tamborello, who e-mailed MTV News last week to say the song had nothing to do with the Postal Service, nor was it a rough track from a new Dntel album he had supposedly been working on, which was also a rumor.
"Someone showed me that song yesterday ... it actually has nothing to do with me or Ben," he wrote. "I guess it's just someone playing a joke. I have no idea who it actually is."
And neither did anyone else. The prime suspects — at least according to comments left on several music blogs — was the Northern Two, an unsigned Los Angeles electro-pop duo that recently completed a new album and were looking to drum up some publicity by leaking "Being" under the Postal Service banner.
But here's where the matter gets even more confusing: While the song certainly sounds like the Northern Two, the group denied any involvement with the song through an e-mail sent to GoodWeatherForAirstrikes.com, one of the first blogs to post the track. (Attempts by MTV News to contact the group were unsuccessful.)
So it looks like the mystery of "The Importance of Being" will remain unsolved, at least for the time being. And that's not necessarily good news for the Postal Service's label, Sub Pop. Seems it would like to have a word with the Postal Impostors. At the very least.
"All this is completely out of the blue and, as far as we know, none of it is true," a label spokesperson, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told MTV News. "I have no clue who made that thing, but I would like to kill them."