The Postal Service Could Be Coming Back to Save the USPS

During intense debate and discussion about the importance of the United States Postal Service especially leading up to the November election, the conversation inevitably made indie rock fans wonder, "Hey, will Ben Gibbard, Jenny Lewis and Jimmy Tamborello bring back their supergroup The Postal Service?" On Tuesday, the group began teasing something, but the band actually has a very strong and interesting relationship with the government branch after which it is named.

The group's official Twitter shared a short video, writing the date "10.7.20," and the video states, "Your meeting will begin tomorrow 10.7.20," as what sounds like jazzy, elevator music plays. Lewis also shared the video on her Twitter.

People made jokes at the band's expense about the (possibly) coincidental timing. Still, many people theorized that it could be a new album on the horizon. As previously reported, President Donald Trump has spoken about cutting funding for the USPS.

With all the discussions surrounding the USPS, it's entirely plausible that the band could be planning something to try to help the government branch, as the two have an incredibly close history.

According to a 2004 New York Times story about the band, Sub-Pop, the group's label, received a cease-and-desist from the USPS around the release of their 2003 album Give Up. "It said that the Postal Service is a registered trademark of the United States Postal Service, and that though they were very, very flattered that we were using the name, they need to enforce their copyright," artist and repertory rep Tony Kiewel told The Times.

The two came to an agreement that the band could keep using the name, if it promoted people using the federal Postal Service to send mail. Besides that, the trademark would be listed on copies of the album, and the USPS also sold the album through its website. The band also played the postmaster general's National Executive Conference that same year. (This all could've been avoided, had the band gone with the name Denny and the Fun-Blasters.) "Doing promos for the post office seems a little bit weird," Tamborello told The Times "But it's a funny story for them to have-it's a good story of how you can still use normal snail mail."

If the band is indeed reforming the help the USPS, it's unclear what they may have in mind until tomorrow, but it's also entirely plausible that it's simply a new album (which is also exciting).

The group played their final show at Chicago's The Metro in 2013, but the members have collaborated on some occasions. Tamborello remixed one of Gibbard's Death Cab for Cutie songs in 2018, and Lewis joined Death Cab onstage to sing "Nothing Better" during legs of their Thank You For Today tour, which she opened for the band on.

In an August promotional performance for former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign, Gibbard spoke about the branch's importance, especially when it comes to mail-in voting, before performing an acoustic version of "Such Great Heights."

"In the midst of this global pandemic, nothing is more important than being able to vote safely and securely, and vote-by-mail has been shown to be that over and over and over again," he said. "I'm gonna play a song by [the band] The Postal Service and dedicate it to the [federal] Postal Service."

Press contacts for Sub Pop and the USPS did not respond to Newsweek's emailed requests for comment in time for publication.

The Postal Service
Jenny Lewis, Jimmy Tamborello, and Ben Gibbard of The Postal Service perform during Lollapalooza 2013 at Grant Park on August 3, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois Getty/Taylor Hill/FilmMagic