Published Jun 19, 2012Earlier this month, Dntel (aka Jimmy Tamborello) released Aimlessness, his first full-length since 2007's Dumb Luck. Perhaps best known as one-half of the Postal Service (alongside Death Cab for Cutie vocalist Ben Gibbard), Tamborello has moved away from the warm, vibrant, indie-meets-electronic sound that defined his recent work, and as Tamborello recently told Exclaim!, the departure was very much an intentional one.
"Dumb Luck had more of an organic feel because there were more live instruments involved and there were vocals on everything," Tamborello explains in a recent interview. "A lot of those songs were structured a little bit more towards vocals. The new album is mostly instrumental, and I don't think I used any live instruments at all."
Leaving longtime label, Sub Pop (who just last year reissued Dntel's 2001 breakthrough LP Life Is Full of Possibilities) for DJ Koze's Pampa Records, Tamborello used the opportunity to use his new label boss's expertise to help shape Aimlessness.
"I needed someone more to help me finish the songs," Tamborello says. "It was almost more like the old-fashioned A&R guys. I mostly needed someone to tell me when the songs were ready, or else I would keep going back and working on them."
As for the future of the Postal Service, Tamborello still doesn't hold any immediate plans on reviving the group, even though their sound has been reproduced by a slew of imitators. Citing Intel's commercial, in which he speculates, "Whoever did the music was asked to do a 'Postal Service sound,'" and Owl City's 2009 hit "Fireflies," where he "definitely did hear similarities with Ben's [Gibbard] voice," Tamborello says that their music still holds a place in his heart.
"I still feel connected to that album, but there's a lot of stuff that's linked to it that I don't have that much connection to."
So chances are that fans shouldn't expect a follow-up anytime time.