From Beirut to Britain: Postcards Hit the Road

The Lebanese folk-rock outfit on their U.K. tour and plans for their debut studio album

Postcards: Sabra, Tohme, Bechara and Semerdjian (from left)
Nessim Stevenson
By Adam Grundey
Jul 06, 2014

It's a little over 18 months since Beirut-based four-piece Postcards began performing their folk-rock-inspired music in public, but they’ve quickly established themselves as one of the brightest prospects in Lebanon’s increasingly vibrant underground scene, thanks to a smart combination of mellow acoustic vibes and uptempo rhythms, as well as the fact that the Lebanese music scene is still fairly small. “It’s relatively easy to ‘make it’ here,” says singer Julia Sabra. “As long as you can make people dance.”

The band recently had the chance to test their songs in a more competitive environment, with a short tour of the U.K., headlining gigs in London, Manchester, Brighton and Cardiff. “It was amazing,” says Sabra. “It was our first experience outside of Lebanon, with an audience that didn’t know us. So it was a real test of our music and of our performance, and it’s been completely positive, so that was a great boost. We had a blast, and our manager made a lot of contacts, which will open doors for us in the future.” In fact, Postcards will return to England in August to perform at Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire.

In the meantime, Sabra and her bandmates – Marwan Tohme (guitars), Rany Bechara (bass) and Pascal Semerdjian (drums) – will be heading into the studio with producer Fadi Tabbal to start work on their debut album. And Sabra says the band’s newest tracks have shifted away from the sound established on their 2013 EP, Lakehouse, which drew comparisons to Of Monsters and Men, among others: “We’re not going completely experimental or anything. We’re just maturing, I think. And we’re listening to more and more stuff.” Tabbal, who produced Lakehouse, is also more involved this time around: “We’re working with him from the start,” the singer explains. “He’s helping to construct the songs and everything. It’s definitely a more evolved sound.”

On current form, you can expect serious buzz around the record’s release. “Maybe we just don’t get to hear the negative stuff, I don’t know,” says Sabra of her band’s critical reception. “But I feel like everything’s been positive so far.”