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Postcards – “Home is So Sad”

Written by on April 22, 2021

Martial drums open the new single from Beirut, Lebanon’s Postcards, and you’re forced to pay attention. This is an urgency, a constrained frenzy we’re not used to from Postcards, who specialize in richly textured dream pop. And it’s a bit of a walk from their dizzying-but-intimate DreamGaze Worldwide performance to this claustrophobic opening. And it’s here where context matters most.

Since we last checked in with Postcards, a big chunk of their home city was leveled by a blast at the government-owned Port of Beirut, where a large quantity of ammonium nitrate exploded, resulting in at least 215 deaths, billions of dollars in property damage, and an estimated 300,000 people left homeless. What had already been an economic crisis, and a Covid crisis, and a corruption crisis, was only compounded by this avoidable catastrophe.

One of the first songs Postcards penned after the calamity, “Home is So Sad” is inspired by Philip Larkin’s poem of the same name. There is a sense of resignation, mixed with the need to recognize and remember the loss incurred, as Julia Sabra‘s vocals rise plaintively against the sonic maelstrom surrounding. It’s simultaneously jarring and life-affirming, as though the individual maintains strength and perspective amidst the avoidable chaos and loss.

Directed and edited by Nadim Tabet, with band footage by Camille Cabbabe, this is a visual elegy that perfectly accompanies the song. It’s a cathartic release, needed when all around descends into madness.

The lyrics are world-weary, but knowing, having experienced loss and developed a detached sort of coping.

You were lying where
you had cut my hair
right beneath the table
where we eat the bread you make
Home is so sad

Glass in our coffee
Towels on trees
Blood from your nostrils
Blood from your ears
Soil splattered on the walls like drops of blood
Home is so sad

There’s a hole
where your knee should be
but I am not afraid I am not afraid
Home is so sad
It stays as it was left

As the first single for the forthcoming LP After the Fire, Before the End, it sets a particularly high bar. Compellingly uncomfortable, it documents a tragic event and celebrates the human spirit simultaneously, disaster and hope intertwined: It can’t get any worse, can it?

Home is So Sad” is released today as a single and video via T3 Records. The album After the Fire, Before the End is expected in Autumn of 2021. Follow Postcards via their website, Bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter and Facebook.

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