Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It seems to me that we're smack in the middle of the summer months when the drag sets in. We're at that point where, some of us in our slicked over stacks and through the haze of our incurable dehydration, are wishing that it were - GASP - over, that we could just quickly transition into our flannels instead of looking for any way to shed more clothing and quickly realizing that there's just nothing left to take off that will have any marked difference for the better. We are going to bed sticky and waking up to find that the conditions outside are going to cut us no breaks today and even when the thunderstorms inevitably rumble through in a hurried spat, it's all just going to cook into a stupid batter in no time at all.
We're awfully stuck right now, where we're tired and we're bored and we're all just wanting that autumnal change that will, theoretically, bring some kind of relief. The beauty to just slip into a pair of cut-off jean shorts and head to the local swimming hole, or putting on a sundress and just flirting about the city as if full of every ray of light out there is wearing off and we're beginning to cuss the warm weather, for it's showing that it doesn't want to be friendly any more. This isn't the spring sunshine any longer. This is the late summer sunshine and it's a bear. It makes us feel as if we were covered in bear fur and we're ready to fight.
New York City four-piece, The Postelles, are a band that makes us cheer for the sunshine again. They are more of that stuff that we enjoy being exposed to, for we feel as if they mean well and they will just bronze us, not burn us. They are the open-air café on glorious evenings that we never want to end and they are the cool excitement we feel when we see pretty girls begin to bare their ankles, mid-thighs and shoulder blades when the days start to be warmer and longer.
The Postelles come from a long, pseudo-lineage of golden years, rock and roll lovers, four young men (Daniel Balk, David Dargahi, John Speyer and Billy Cadden) who believe in the magic of a hook and subtle playing to unlock the secret flavors that they riddle their songs with. It's the kind of power-pop that Pavlov's dog (or legion of laboratory canines) would not have any control over reacting to. It's the kind of music that just follows you, whistling, and you turn around to look and see who it is and there's no one behind you. You find out that it's actually you doing the whistling and you had no idea that it was going on. Balk sings with a feigned British accent that sounds partially like the sweet sting of the lemon wedge in your water glass and the overwhelmingly pleasant sensation of those whittled down ice cubes at the bottom of your glass bumping against your top lip as you get down to the end of a drink on the rocks. He sings about friendship and love and all of the many possibilities that we tend to allow ourselves to be consumed by when the temperatures get nicer. We put ourselves out there to be taken and to woo as well. It's this easy breeze coming through the Postelles rock and roll and old-school Motown vibe and it feels like something that we can chill to here, now and forever.
*Essay originally published July, 2010