Frontman Daniel Balk and David Dargahi met during Spanish class back in their Manhattan high school, bonding through their shared taste in music. “(Dan) was the other guy in the grade that worshipped The Beatles,” said Dargahi. With the addition of two other fellow classmates (Billy Cadden and John Speyer), the Postelles were born, using their name as homage to the Motown era.
Despite their heavy resemblance to classic boy bands, the Postelles has never pinpointed a specific genre to follow. “If we feel punk and a song comes out that way, it’s completely spontaneous. Another song may have a more motown feel. It’s all in the moment,” said Balk. Perhaps the assortment of styles can also be attributed to the group’s diverse interests. “We have the bands and artists that inspire us embedded into us so it kind of just comes out naturally,” said Balk, citing influences from Brit-pop to Hemingway to Woody Allen.
All of theses elements come together in The Postelles, produced by Albert Hammond Jr. of the ttrokes fame. Clocking in at a little over 35 minutes, the album throws out short pieces that still make an impact regardless of their length. Refreshingly devoid of frills, the band relies on the traditional drums-guitar-vocal ensemble. This simplicity results to a hopeless catchiness whether it’s due to the bubbly hooks or bouncy beats. It becomes impossible to resist the upbeat chords of their single, “White Night,” or subtle melancholy of “Sleep on the Dance Floor.”
But the cutesy rhythm and soul that make the album entertaining also acts as its pitfall. There is only so many two-to-three minute numbers that listeners can enjoy before it becomes repetitive. What was initially bright and uplifting inevitably turns dull and hackneyed by the end of the album, aided by lackluster lyrics.
When translated to a live performance, however, the same beats and riffs that overloaded the album quickly turn into infectious melodies. The Postelles provide the ideal soundtrack for jittery audiences. “We really love shows when the crowd is right on top of us. We really pride ourselves on our live show and want people to go nuts,” said Balk. “Feel free to run on stage and do whatever you’d like.”
With the launch of their debut, the Postelles are making a name for themselves through a sound that, albeit borrowed from the great rock stars of the past, still manages to strike the dancing chord in listeners. Blissfully uplifting, the band deliver an alluring dose of dazzling hooks and will be showcasing their sunny tracks at Rickshaw Stop on Thursday, June 23. “People these days tend to have more fake instruments on their album than real so we want to bring back the authenticity that music (once) had,” said Balk. “We want to show that rock music is still around.”
Cynthia Kang is the arts editor.