Farewells, it might be agreed upon, are generally considered a sad affair. It is perhaps unusual to see partings treated with lighter sentiments such as “I’m skipping town like a stone thrown across the water,” as expressed by The Postmarks vocalist Tim Yehezkely on the opening track of The Postmarks’s self-titled debut album. The song, entitled “Goodbye”, goes on to express a sense of liberating relief at parting. However, there is no joy or triumph in the departure. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of emotion, for Yehezkely delivers each line with the same removed indifference in her capable but flat vocals.
The album features song after song of soft, dreamy pop. Their bland song titles tend to reflect various facets of nature (“Looks Like Rain”, “Winter Spring Summer Fall”, “Weather the Weather”) and aptly characterizes the sound of the album. Sometimes, it works. The melodic music is serenely beautiful, and coupled with Yehezkely’s wispy voice, The Postmarks seem to be taking its cue from the likes of Camera Obscura. However, the major difference is that Camera Obscura open themselves up to a playful edge that is sorely lacking with The Postmarks, who seem to be more concerned with “the overflowing well of heartbreak”, as they state in their own press release. The end result is a slow descent from serene beauty into dull repetition.
The Postmarks have plenty of potential. They are able musicians who are capable of producing introspective music of heartbreak and pain while remaining carefree and airy in the process, yet their consistency is also their downfall. The lack of variation in their melodies and themes ultimately drags them down. There is a fine line between “dreamlike” and “boring”, a line often crossed due to the vocalist’s lack of range and the endless references to the rain and sky and other natural phenomena.
However, keeping in mind that this is their first album, The Postmark should not be dismissed. Perhaps when their well of heartbreak has dried up, they will be able to offer up something with more substance.