“Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service
What is quite evident is that “Such Great Heights” is a love song. The featured relationship is in part defined by the two participants, the vocalist and addressee, as it currently stands being residents in two different, i.e. distant, locations.
So to make a long story short, since they are very much romantic partners, what the singer is putting forth is that he dropped this song as an expression of his love for his sweetheart, since rather opting to relay it over the telephone or what have you would not do the strong level of his love ample justice.
“They will see us waving from such great heights”
But then as far as the titular metaphor is concerned, as utilized in the chorus, that is not as easy to decipher.
That said, the phrase “such great heights” could simply mean that the lovers have achieved a remarkable level of success in regards to beautifying and solidifying their relationship.
The phrase could also allude to the notion of the lovers, due to the euphoria of their affection, being such that they can only see the big picture, if you will. Put simply, they are so smitten with each other that nothing else matters.
But all lyrics considered, that does not seem like a completely-acceptable explanation. Rather, a more feasible, albeit related interpretation would be that the titular phrase serves as the vocalist’s way of noting that neither he nor the addressee have any intention of forsaking the love they share, no matter what. Why? Because they have taken their loving relationship to new heights.
The Postal Service
The Postal Service was a pop-oriented supergroup consisting of the following:
- Ben Gibbard (from Death Cab for Cutie)
- Jimmy Tamborello
- Jenny Lewis (from Rilo Kiley)
The act was only extant for a handful of years. As such, they only managed to drop one studio album, “Give Up”. It is from that project that we get “Such Great Heights”, its lead single. Officially “Such Great Heights” was released on 1 January 2003.
Success of “Such Great Heights”
This song stands as The Postal Service’s biggest commercial hit in that it has been certified gold by the RIAA. Additionally, it also made it onto the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100. And despite that relatively-meager showing, “Such Great Heights” also made Rolling Stone‘s list of the “100 Best Songs of the 2000s”, as compiled in 2011.
And as an interesting side note, this track also holds the distinction of being the original theme song of the hit television show Grey’s Anatomy.
It is Benjamin Gibbard who wrote this track. He went on to describe “Such Great Heights” as one of those types of songs which “seemingly came out of nowhere”.
The producers of “Such Great Heights” are:
- Jimmy Tamborello
- Chris Walla
The music video to this track was directed by a duo known as Josh & Xander. It was filmed in conjunction with a semiconductor company known as Skyworks Solutions.
Iron & Wine’s Version of “Such Great Heights”
Amongst the artists who have covered this track is a singer known as Iron & Wine. His rendition actually served as the B-side of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights”. Furthermore, it is also Iron & Wine’s version which notably made the soundtrack of the 2004 Zach Braff film Garden State.
In 2020 Ben Gibbard, while simultaneously endorsing Joe Biden for President, dedicated this song to the actual US Postal Service, i.e. the division of the US government which facilitates physical mailing. But to note, The Postal Service, as in the band, is not named after that institution per se. Instead, their moniker is colorfully derived from the fact that the collaboration between Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, the two who were primarily responsible for holding down the act, was done so remotely, i.e. with the former being based in Los Angeles and the latter, Seattle.