Such Great Heights

The Postal Service

Give Up (2003)

Ben Gibbard was a bit of a cottage industry in the mid-’00s, churning out a wealth of material for the emo-college crowd via Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service. Although Death Cab is the band he has put more energy into, it was his long-distance emo-dance-pop side project that had the most success (he and collaborator Jimmy Tamborello famously worked by sending demos back and forth through the mail, hence the name The Postal Service). “Such Great Heights” is the most notable song from their lone, near-perfect album. It’s earnest without being sickly sweet, it’s catchy without being cliche, and to paraphrase American Bandstand, it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.

Also check out: The most obvious successor to this now-defunct band is Owl City. “Fireflies” in particular sounds nearly identical to “Such Great Heights,” for better or for worse.