Postiljonen: Memory Messengers Interview | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Postiljonen

Memory Messengers

Nov 08, 2013 Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT
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The cool, breathless dream pop on Postiljonen's debut, Skyer, has a transportive quality to it. Their rolling synthesizer lines and love for big, audacious saxophone solos may call back to some of the 1980s' cheesier pop songs, but in this producer trio's skilled hands, it never feels anything but earnest and modern. It's their sound's ability to induce nostalgia that gave the project its name.

"[Postiljonen] is an area here in Stockholm, but it also means something like 'messenger.' A lot of blogs have written 'postman' but it's an older word that's not really used in Swedish anymore," says Joel Nyström Holm. "We don't get a lot of inspiration from other music. We get more inspiration from pictures, memories, environments, and experiences. We're like messengers for feelings."

"[Our music] is a soundtrack to our memories," adds Daniel Sjörs.

Postiljonen is Swedish multi-instrumentalists Sjörs and Holm, and Norwegian singer Mia Bøe. The project began when the three converged at the Kulturama music production school in Stockholm, where they were enrolled as students.

"We met there our first day, and made our first song together that same day," says Holm.

Because they have similar training, each member of Postiljonen contributes equal parts to the writing, mixing, and producing of their music.

"I think it's very hard to have everyone sitting in the studio at the same time and say, 'Now it's time to make a song,'" says Sjörs. "We've done it before, but more often one of us will have an idea for a chorus, or chords, or something, and we switch off and let everyone do their thing with it." 

"Each one of us has our own studio," Holm adds. "In the end, we work together on each song to finish it."

The spacious results of their handoff-style writing process have earned Postiljonen comparisons to M83, Sigur Rós, and Cocteau Twins. They can understand where listeners might hear similarities in their sounds, but their own musical inspirations tend to come from more mainstream places.

"It's more '80s sounds with big snares and nice, clean synths," says Sjörs, describing their favorite pop styles. "Boy Meets Girl had this one big hit, 'Waiting For a Star to Fall,' which is like the most awesome song ever."

Postiljonen share a deeper connection with Boy Meets Girl, beyond their admiration for the group's lone hit from 1988: the American pop duo also wrote Whitney Houston's Billboard number one single "How Will I Know," which Postiljonen covered for their debut album. Their version is re-titled "All That We Had Is Lost," and is a sadder, more heartbreaking take on the late singer's hit song.

"It was [recorded] around the time she passed away," says Sjörs. "Mia was in the studio and she was bored and didn't know what to do. Our friend said you should do a cover of Whitney Houston."

"We made our own chorus," says Holm. "It felt right."

"We love Whitney," says Sjörs. "It was almost like our tribute."

[This article first appeared in Under the Radar's August/September 2013 issue.]



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