Striking your eardrums from the word “go”, Memoirs at the End of the World is a cinematic multi-instrumental dream, but with three core band members: Tim Yehezkely, Chris Moll and Jonathan Wilkins, how much of this huge sound is a collaboration?
First to hit you might be the awe inspiring string arrangement that begins the opener, No One Said This Would Be Easy. However, it is the sweetly sultry voice of female lead singer, Tim Yehezkely, that really ensures this album’s magnificence. Keen to shrug the Florida stereotypes of indie-rock and rock and roll covers, Yehezkely wanted to “be something a bit different.” The band certainly achieve their aspiration.
This album encompasses electronic, futuristic elements, along with their orchestral arrangements that sound from beginning to end like a journey through a Film Noir spy epic. The first self-titled album had aspects of the soundtrack influences, but didn’t capture it as much as Memoirs. Tim reflects: “This album has definitely become more epic, cinematic, intense and full than the first.” Of course, with the success of a first album, there is immediately an expectation from fans of what the second will hold. As pressure on The Postmarks mounted, Tel Aviv-born Yehezkely realised they had “expectations to fulfil and didn’t want to scare away the fans completely, so we had to try and go down this road first.” For Tim there was a feeling of absolutely needing to make this record, combined with a focus on moving in a different direction. The exploration of the cinematic sound was a push to its conclusion in preparation for new things, “to grow that sound before the band took any other direction.”
To bring together three band members from such different musical backgrounds to create one consistent sound is an accomplishment in itself. Gelled by their appreciation of film scores, other influences include 1970s soul, dub and folk. Finding places for these inspirations is more apparent on this album than the first, while appreciating the need to come together under one coherent sound and The Postmarks name. Front woman, Yehezkely, penned Go Jetsetter, initially encompassing her minimalistic personal style, influenced by bands such as Kraftwerk, though she’s adamant to point out, “it doesn’t sound anything like that anymore.” Having been given the Postmarks’ trademark multi-instrumental arrangements and vintage sound, it still retains its ironic look at the pursuit of material pleasures, imagining a Thelma & Louise style getaway. Gone brings the album to a close, with a gun-shot like sound that ends the narrative and starts the credits rolling. From start to finish this is an album that works fully as a whole. The rise of free and downloadable music means that albums are often split into single tracks, and while understanding that, The Postmarks create music that seamlessly weaves an entire narrative. Chris Moll “is one of the few people left who really appreciates an album for its wholeness,” says Yehezkely. So while you can listen to the tracks individually, the band have made an investment into the concept of the album.
Memoirs At the End of the World is by no means all The Postmarks has to offer. Yehezkely is hoping that the band will move into a new direction with their next project, and she “ has always liked the electronic side of things,” however she’s “putting that on the side burner, to do what the band has to do now. Hopefully we’ll have more room to explore new opportunities in the future. But, it’s something I definitely want to do.”
Memoirs at the End of the World is out now. www.thepostmarks.com.