Going back to New York for the holidays is always bizarre because people expect for the city to be always-on and on-demand, but it’s really a ghost town of lonely randos huddled in Irish pubs. I always feel like I’m back in high school, that sense of self-imposed alienation returning to me in waves of nostalgic something or the other.
I’ve been playing this song on repeat for that feeling and because of that feeling. The static gets louder as the feedback loop of analog transition snowballs around itself. It is remarkably high school. I remember putting it on a mixtape and handing it over to a crush, exclaiming that this is the original Postal Service song. I’m still a fucking know-it-all but to make that supposed authentic claim then made me cement indie-emo kid into my identity: I knew about it first. Even the band’s origin story — editing tracks across snail mail — has 2002/2003 written all over it. Eventually, USPS actually sued them for using the trademark, and in classic indie fashion, they sold tracks that were played in the background of commercials with whiteboards in it and did a live performance at its annual National Executive Conference.