Combining the shoegaze melodies of the Cocteau Twins and the cinematic dream-pop of M83 with saxophone riffs worthy of a mid-80s NYC skyline, and an inspired use of film dialogue which perfectly encapsulates their escapist intentions, Scandinavian trio Postiljonen delivered one of this year’s most effortlessly blissful records with their debut, Skyer.
Formed in Stockholm in the spring of 2012, the group offered the first taster of their dreamlike vision with last year’s “Dit Bara Drömmar Når” – a tale of leaping into the unknown. A confusing introduction, considering its Swedish title opposite its Norwegian performance. But multi-instrumentalists Daniel Sjörs and Joel Nyström Holm‘s mysterious reverb-laden production ensured that language was no barrier to their fantasy world.
Indeed, by constantly obscuring Mia Bøe’s hushed ethereal tones in waves of washed-out synths, Postiljonen haven’t become that much more comprehensible to English-speaking audiences since making the conscious decision to abandon their native tongue on their first full-length studio effort, admitting that their lyrics are more about “evoking or recreating feelings than having a complex story to tell,” Bøe tells SONGLYRICS.
But that’s not to say it’s without its moments of clarity, whether it’s the unabashed romanticism of neon-lit Balearic anthem “We Raise Our Hearts” (“Know that exactly on this little night/You gave me your heart and said we’ll be fine”) and the lolloping synth-pop of “Supreme” (“We are what we are, hopelessly in love/The stars in our sky, never to unfold”) or perhaps most notably, “All That We Had is Lost,” an emotive reimagining of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” which transforms the uplifting soul-pop classic into a slow-motion bittersweet lament refreshingly free of any irony: [LISTEN]
Holm explains why the band decided to tackle one of the late star’s most well-known hits in such a melancholic manner: “First of all, she is such a great singer. It’s also a tribute to her – we made it just after she died. It’s really hard to make covers so that you don’t think very much of the original sound and feeling. As we slowed it down and added our own parts to the song, I think we pulled it off.”
Whitney’s ‘he loves me/he loves me not’ anthem might not be the only mid-80s hit to receive the unique Postiljonen treatment if Holm has his way, with outlaw country supergroup The Highwaymen’s “Highwayman” next on his wishlist, a clear indication of the band’s eclectic influences: “We get inspiration from movies, nature, different environments, trips, the world, sounds from different decades. Right now I’m listening to Lester Young. We all love The Velvet Underground. It would have been nice to be the lyricist of “Walk On The Wild Side;” [LISTEN].
And having previously borrowed quotes from The Princess Bride and Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Holm is also open to weaving even more cinematic references into the band’s future material: “The thing with those two samples is that they sound so good and they’re saying the words we wanted in those places. We’re just starting the preparations with inspirational material for our next album, so I guess that will show soon. If we’re having any samples, I would like to get some from Tales From Earthsea and 2001: A Space Odyssey.”