Review Summary: Dreams don't die under the red sky.
I can’t think of a city brimming with as much love and life as Beirut. When chaos started to spill over the Lebanese frontier during the Syrian war, it was impossible for its citizens to ignore that the world around them was in flames. Over a million refugees crossed the border into Lebanon escaping a war that is still ongoing for almost a decade. It was in this setting where Postcards came to life.
Music has always served as a way to escape reality, specially when it’s painted with bloodshed, injustice and human drama. For Postcards, making music was a way to cope with the surrounding maelstrom, but also a way to raise awareness about a formidable shoegaze and dream pop scene happening in Beirut, spearheaded by them. The Good Soldier
is their second release, recorded in Beirut’s Tunefork Studios with Fadi Tabbal on the controls and published by German label T3 records. It is a vast improvement on their first album, I’ll be here in the morning
, partly due to a more aggressive approach in songs like the fantastic opener, “Dead end”, but also because they have explored further the depths of dream pop and slow core, striking gold in tracks like “Last resort”, more akin to the direction of their debut.
At first, The Good Soldier
seems a bit front loaded. The band shows how effortlessly they can tame a wild track like “Dead End” and at the same time rock out a bedroom pop wonder like “Spiderwebs” in the first ten minutes of the album. A song like the second track, “Fossilized”, show the best they have in them, setting the bar really high for the rest of the album to follow. In comparison with the band’s debut, I personally feel that their newfound strength relies on the harsher tracks that fall on shoegaze territory. Julia Sabra’s voice has a distinctive, ghostly charm that compliments the distortion wall they create perfectly in a track like “Lights out”, one of the many peaks of The Good Soldier
, whereas in a song like “Freedriving”, an affair closer to twee pop, the band’s tension deflates and falls somewhat short of lightning. It’s almost an isolated case though because Postcards know how to handle slow droning pop in songs like “Last resort” or the closing “Little lies”, while still weaving an electrifying web of sounds around them to take hold of the listener.
For a band active since 2012, whose first record came out just a couple of years ago, The Good Soldier
is an outstanding achievement, not only because Postcards have been able to create a superior album in such a short time after their debut, showing they ride on unstoppable momentum, but also because they have been able to do so pushing away the horrors of the brutal reality they have lived on a daily basis. 2020 is a promising year for Postcards, thanks to a brand new album and a European tour ahead of them to support it, so catch them live if you have the chance!