"I've always enjoyed natural-sounding feminine voices as much as well-trained vocalists," Yehezkely says, "so it's not an issue to me that I don't sound like Mariah Carey or Christina Aguilera. Their voices are intimidating and powerful, and I'm awestruck when I listen to them. But I also love more subtle, unique, sometimes quieter voices that have unusual beauty and command, like Coralie Clément, Chan Marshall, or Astrud Gilberto."
Wilkins is more evasive when it comes to citing his benchmarks. "They change every year," he notes. "For the last record, it was a nod to French pop and a tentative step toward orchestration. I think with the next original record, it will be closer to delivering on our promises of soundtrack music, with many of the influences from the past year of touring."
The band has already been on seven national tours in support of its first album, including well-received shows at Lollapalooza and South by Southwest in 2007. During the down time from those gigs, the group hit up every independent CD store in its path, and, because the Postmarks are open-minded musicians, their influences began to shift and evolve.
"When you're on tour, you tend to visit a lot of record stores, hanging around towns, and me and Chris got heavily into old Sixties dub reggae and Sixties soul music," Wilkins says. "Then we really started digging for obscure soundtrack/instrumental stuff. Without a doubt, that definitely influenced By-the-Numbers."
Upon returning from its last tour, the band immediately went to work. Both Postmarks albums were recorded at Moll's home studio, Room Recording, with the two men supplying the sounds — organic, sampled, synthesized, and otherwise — with an occasional friend brought in as hired help. The band members are proud of the way the new album turned out, and the blogosphere has already been on fire with praise. Popular Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM (106.7) is already spinning their cover of the Ramones' "7-11."
"That shows we didn't screw it up," Wilkins says with a laugh.
While both albums have garnered the bandmates enough kudos for them to pack up and head to a larger city, Moll says they have no intention of abandoning South Florida anytime soon. He and Wilkins still reside in Coral Springs, and Yehezkely in Boynton Beach.
"I find it funny when bands enjoy a degree of success locally and then haul ass to Brooklyn, never to be heard from again," Wilkins says. "In Florida, the Postmarks are fairly unique. In New York, there might be a dozen bands doing what we're doing in a four-block radius around Williamsburg. So why would we want to move away for music? I'd love to live in another city for the culture, but to 'make it' in music? I won't name any names; they know who they are."
"The South Florida music scene has always been a musical buffet," Moll says. "We don't have anything more in common with the local scene than Marilyn Manson, the Mavericks, Dashboard Confessional, Gloria Estefan, Iron & Wine, New Found Glory, and K.C. and the Sunshine Band have or had with each other. I would think, if we asked all of them, their answers would be similar. Ignore the zip code and just make the music you want to make. Whether I lived within the Arctic Circle, Indonesia, or Montana, I'd still be making the same music ... the music that I want to make. Our aspirations are to make music that has the same sense of timelessness that Jobim, Bacharach, and Mancini have...."
Meanwhile, the band is already anticipating its next recording set, due in spring 2009. Wilkins predicts it will be a notch up in terms of energy, while Moll describes it as further affirmation of the sonic stamp the Postmarks embellished on their debut.
"If I'm honest about the emotions I try to have our music contain, then I think that translates to the listener," he says. "Nothing is more rewarding than receiving mail from people all around the world thanking you for the music you make. It's not about the sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It's about touching people in a heartfelt way and hopefully leaving behind something transcendent."
But the plaudits are never permanent, Yehezkely adds. "It's like a drug, and it wears off. One moment, you're getting tons of attention; the next, you are invisible, as you put your nose back to the grindstone. Actually I tend to enjoy the grindstone part of it more."