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The Postal Service

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Seattle, United States (2001 – 2013)

The Postal Service are an American band based in Seattle, Washington, which started life as a side project for singer Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and producer Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel, Headset and Figurine. The group formed, in 2001, after Gibbard contributed vocals for a song on Dntel’s album Life Is Full of Possibilities called (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan.

The band released their debut album Give Up on 18 February 2003 at Sub Pop label. Several songs on this album feature guest vocals from Jenny Lewis, the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, a band which was once on the same label as Death Cab (Barsuk Records) and vocals from Jen Wood, an indie rock solo artist. Chris Walla recorded some of the songs and played the piano on Nothing Better.

The group’s name comes from the manner in which their songs were written, due to the fact that the two of them lived too far away to be able to work together in person. Tamborello would create beats and mail them to singer and lyricist Gibbard, who would then edit them and put his melodies over the tracks and mail them back. Gibbard didn’t write any of the lyrics until the tracks were completely finished.

In August 2003, the United States Postal Service sent the band a cease and desist letter, citing its trademark on the phrase “postal service”. After negotiations, the USPS relented, allowing the band use of the trademark in exchange for promotional efforts on behalf of the USPS and a performance at its annual National Executive Conference.

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