Here's great news for fans of indie-electro act the Postal Service: There's a brand-new album in the works.
That's according to Postal Service/ Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard, who filled MTV News in on all the details backstage at last weekend's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee (see "Radiohead Marathon, Beck Puppet Show, Partial Phish Jam Mix It Up At Bonnaroo").
"We're slowly starting. We're crawling right now, and whether that crawl turns into a walk remains to be seen," Gibbard said. "But we'll know more towards the end of the year. I've just been touring so much and trying to find time to make it happen and make our schedules line up.
"The good thing about working with [producer/musician] Jimmy [Tamborello] is it takes him sending me something for me to write lyrics for it. It's not like I'm sitting around going, 'Oh, that would be good for a Postal Service song.' "
A spokesperson for the Postal Service's label, Sub Pop Records, confirmed that Gibbard and Tamborello have begun work on the follow-up to their breakout 2003 album Give Up. And keeping with tradition, the duo are doing that work while being separated by great distance (Tamborello is based in Los Angeles, and Gibbard has spent almost all of the past year on tour with Death Cab).
But unlike the sessions for Give Up, in which they'd mail each other finished tunes, hence their name (see "Death Cab Singer Goes Postal With Electronic Side Project"), this time the correspondence is being done via e-mail.
"It's sort of the way we've been forced to do things, because I've been so busy," Gibbard laughed. "But it's basically the same way we've always worked. When I was writing songs for [Death Cab's 2003 LP] Transatlanticism, I was writing songs for Give Up at the same time. Part of what makes the Postal Service so great is that it never means that Death Cab has to be put on the back burner."
So far, only a pair of songs have gotten the full Postal treatment. But as Gibbard's touring responsibilities begin to wind down — Death Cab will make one more trek across North America in the fall — he pledges he'll be getting down to the process of writing more lyrics. But he's not quite sure where they'll end up, because he's also in the very early stages of writing a new Death Cab record, too.
"We're going to do one more lap around the country and then go home and work on music. At the end of the year is when this is all going to wrap up, and we can all get back to work," Gibbard said.
"One thing that [Death Cab] realized when we signed with a major label is that we were going to be doing a lot more work than we ever did before, and we're definitely living up to that end of the bargain," Gibbard added. "Because between the Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie, I certainly am going to remain busy."