Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings
The Postal Service only released one album, 2003's Give Up, but they never really needed a follow-up. That album was a fully-realized artistic statement, blending Ben Gibbard's sad-sack indie-rock songwriting with Jimmy Tamborello's glitchy electronica. Today, in honor of its 10th anniversary, Sub Pop is re-issuing Give Up in deluxe format -- complete with cover versions, b-sides, and unreleased bonus tracks. To celebrate this modern classic, check out these five great Postal Service covers by some smart and talented fans.
1. "Such Great Heights" Acoustic Guitar / Violin Cover
Most Postal Service covers are mopey and bland, filled with passable Gibbard imitations and awkward strumming. This is not one of those covers. "anaker00" and his fiddle-playing friend transform this electro-pop wonder into an energetic, organic romp.
2. "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" Piano Cover
As "thatoneeyedkid" proves with his intricate piano rendition of "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight," a good melody is a good melody -- no matter the context. Our one-eyed maestro takes us on an ivory-tickling voyage, from groovy cocktail-jazz to rapid-fire classical arpeggios to a Ben Folds-esque boogie-woogie stomp.
3. "Such Great Heights" Americana-Style Cover
Act of Congress have a field-day with their "Such Great Heights" cover, molding the original track's electro-bips and emo yelps into a rootsy churn. Utilizing violin, double-bass, mandolin, and acoustic guitar, the quartet gradually layer their instrumentation, adding subtle harmonic counterpoint and minor-key moodiness.
4. "Recycled Air" Acoustic / Vocals Cover
Who the hell is C3o3l1t9o6n, and why doesn't he have more views? This blue-eyed balladeer may have an indecipherable screen name, but his intimate rendition of "Recycled Air" is anything but ambiguous. He slows down the track to a breezy crawl, crooning in a rich baritone over fragile acoustic chords.
5. "Clark Gable" Loop Station Cover
Andy Hall's solo interpretation of "Clark Gable" isn't without its awkward spots but this is still an inventive little cover: Using a loop station, Hall layers electric guitar riffs, beatboxing, and anguished harmonized croons into a whirlwind of emo catharsis.