“It’s about the damage done to everything that stands for a home – my partner, the actual home I live in, my city.”
Postcards is a dream-pop trio formed in 2012 in Beirut, Lebanon. Their music is defined by hushed vocals floating over expansive soundscapes that shift between harsh noise and dreamy atmospheres.
The band has released 3 EPs and 2 albums, and has regularly toured Europe, the UK and the Middle East since 2014. In Lebanon, they’ve opened for bands such as Beirut (in 2014) and Angus & Julia Stone (in 2015), in addition to headlining Wickerpark Festival in 2018.
Postcards’ 3rd full-length album “After the Fire, Before the End” is due for the fall of 2021, with 1st single “Home Is So Sad” released last April. Written between January 2020 and January 2021, the album is a record of the devastating year that Lebanon witnessed, through the eyes of the band.
When asked about the inspiration behind the haunting lyrics for “Home Is So Sad”, singer and lyricist Julia Sabra mentioned Philip Larkin’s poem of the same name:
“Someone posted the poem on Instagram a few days after the [August 4th] blast. I guess the words stayed with me, and as soon as I sat down to write they were the first thing that came out. The rest of the lyrics speak for themselves: it’s about the damage done to everything that stands for a home – my partner, the actual home I live in, my city.”
The song started with a simple synth riff, which Julia then sung as the melody of the first verse. She was playing around on the keys, and the riff just sprang into being. Once the band sat with producer Fadi Tabbal, he suggested the idea of a drum sample of an electronic snare playing.
Drummer Pascal Semerdjian’s leg was injured in the dreadful blast of August 4th, consequently he couldn’t play the kick, but he started playing marching toms on top of the sample. Then Marwan Tohme’s guitars just flowed over the whole thing.
The song ended up with 3 layers of drums: the drum sample of a snare that plays in monotonous fashion throughout, the real drums playing with the sample, and a second layer of real drums playing around the other 2 layers.
“Home is so sad” is a violent force, a song that stands on the threshold between painful anger and majestic discharge, teetering between elegiac vocals, serrated guitar lines, and mighty drums.
In Julia’s words, “We wanted to have that violent feel throughout the song, with no release. I think there was a lot of emotion that needed to come out at the time.”
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Photo: Rachel Tabet