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POSTAAL

Ethereal piano and energetic bassline, elliptic beats and stratospheric synth layering, high pitched vocals and deep voiced rapping: the overall vibe of the music oscillates between many shades, but the dominating color never fade.

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« I’m taking my freedom ». These few words set the tone of POSTAAL’s debut EP. This French-British duo’s music is current, but also draws its inspiration from a glorious past. In this file-sharing digital era, this free spirited tandem refuses to give up on organic sounds: their electro-pop infused creations are reminiscent of nostalgic house-music while looking forward to a better future. This « in-between » state is actually the very place where this pair found its way. But before going further, let’s go back in time: a time where they realized that before being heard, all they had to do was to listen to themselves. It all started with an impromptu studio hook up between Dennis and Hervé in August 2014. Dennis came to lay down vocals on the track « Give it away » from The Shoes, and he connected right away with Hervé who was attending the session. « Everything was easy from the very start! » recalls Dennis. Their collaboration began naturally: « It was a great opportunity for us to satisfy our desires and to share our abilities » pursues Hervé. Since then, they kept doing studio work while performing in Paris and London. Their connection was pretty obvious, on and off stage. Hervé grew up near Paris in the 90’s, and started making music around the age of 16: « nobody was playing music at home, but my older brother was into Jazz music ». His influences were pretty eclectic: from Daft Punk to Serge Gainsbourg and Alain Bashung, from Metronomy to DJ Premier and Rodney Jerkins, and French artist Boby Lapointe. After moving to Paris, Hervé studied at the Bill Evans Academy… but it’s after posting his first demos online that he got signed to a publishing deal and started writing for other artists while developing his own repertoire. « I learned how to produce and craft songs » says Hervé, who started playing with a Cubase 5 keyboard, and still do. Since then, old school synth vibes became his trademark. Then you have Dennis: a tall Britton freshly arrived from Bournemouth (UK) whose journey is substantially similar to Hervé’s. He’s been fed on the good old Albion sonorities: « My dad had a huge record collection. From The Beatles to Nick Drake, from Motown to Stax ». So many influences that he would later collect to give life to his own aesthetic choices. Prior to getting there, Dennis was a salesman/DJ at the Pure Groove shop (a record store located in Northern London) during the UK Garage madness. « One day, I even sold some records to The Streets leader! » He later went on to be an A&R on various projects and founded his own company named « 50 Bones » where he developed some of the finest French acts such as The Shoes, Housse de Racket or Joseph from Metronomy. Needless to say that Dennis knows the music, though he doesn’t consider himself as a musician: « You need to find another word to describe what I do. » In the meantime, this « aspiring singer » was still seeking for his own path and originality… not an easy task when your own personal legends are Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Nick Drake, as well as Sam Cooke, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder among many others… so it’s almost impossible to put him in any kind of box. It’s this particular double ambition that reunites this complementary duo: « Writing pop records requires a lot of discipline but we need it to have a gospel soul » as they say in unison. First, there are those catchy melodies that get stuck in your head, then there are those vocals that go straight to your heart. An unusual mix oscillating between strength and fragility that these self-taught musicians have been working on for 2 years in the recording studio they share in the heart of Paris. There, they tried everything until they reached a point where their music sounded like no other. Like a hand crafted electro-pop whose extended listening reveals a sophisticated attention for details and is reminiscent of Fourtet and Jamie Lidell. Their goal is to extend their possibilities to the fullest: « We learned together how to tackle the mic and push the buttons. We can do everything by ourselves. » This osmosis allowed them to create their own label: Postaal Ltd. Their visuals also reflect this indie spirit, just have a look at the music video for « Burnin’ » a hit that sounds like an anthem! Ethereal piano and energetic bassline, elliptic beats and stratospheric synth layering, high pitched vocals and deep voiced rapping: the overall vibe of the music oscillates between many shades, but the dominating color never fade. « We respect the rules/codes of electronic music but we add soul music toplines. » Between these two pull factors, they made their own path, independently as can be. That’s the actual talking point of « (Taking My) Freedom », a track that made its way online in the summer 2015 and reached over 100,000 views on Youtube! « City Lies » shows another side to their music. Dennis’ in-your-face lyrics take no apologies and describe a reality that he faced when he first arrived in the city of lights: « I’m talking about what shocked me when I relocated in Paris: misery in the street, migrant encampments. In London, it’s the total opposite: everything has been cleaned, put out of sight… » The track features Jelani Blackman, the rapper from London whose own perpective gives another lecture to Dennis’ disillusioned vision. « The city is what you make of it. You’re the master of your own destiny. » Seems like an allegory of the direction where POSTAAL should head next…

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