Post Sixty Five
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Post Sixty Five

Charlottesville, Virginia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Backstage Pass: Post Sixty Five"

"...the lyrics Post Sixty Five sings relate deep, honest emotions that can take time to develop." - Newsplex

"Post Sixty Five to play The Southern"

The Southern Café and Music Hall will welcome Charlottesville-based band Post Sixty Five to the stage tonight to celebrate the release of their first official EP, “I Think We’ll Be Okay.” The band will showcase its uniquely somber, yet compelling tone, and will be joined onstage by other local musicians such as Devin Sproule, Fire & the Romance and friends from The Anatomy of Frank, Erin and the Wildfire and Kendall Street Company.

Led by vocalist Hicham Benhallam, Post Sixty Five was formed in October 2013 by various students involved in O Records, a student-run record label at the University. In addition to the University’s role, Benhallam explains Charlottesville has also had a positive influence on their formation.

“This city is designed to help people build connections within the community and fosters an overwhelming appreciation for local art,” Benhallam said. “It provides the perfect space for us to nurture our music and our songs.”

The music of “I Think We’ll Be Okay” is characterized by its thoughtful, yet gloomy atmosphere. Though Benhallam’s vocals have a subdued quality when combined with the subtle guitar and pulsing rhythm section, it creates a compelling tone of emotional exhaustion. The songs are hypnotic, bringing forth a sound that will capture you unaware and make you drift off in thought about your life.

“We write with a deliberate intent to dig into a wide palate of human emotions,” said Benhallam. “We try our best to evoke shades of anger, jealousy, anxiety, isolation, desperation as well as feelings of love, reunion, and self-abandonment.”

They succeed in this sincere goal. The lyrics of the songs create an aura of pain and destructive darkness, yet their raw honesty will leave you mesmerized with its grace. In the first track of the EP, “Now that We’re Outside,” Benhallam sings, “and then you say ‘I love you’ cause I’m thinking all the time / and I think I love you anyway, but I don’t know my line.” These words are painful, but also relatable.

In many of the album’s later songs, Benhallam harmonizes with one of Post Sixty Five’s guitarists, Kim McMasters, creating an impression of an endless echoing. In the second song, “Tied Up,” the echoing seems to intensify — Benhallam’s voice fades, as if continuing to sing would be too much to handle. The two voices envelop the listener in their tragic beauty.

The song, “Beginners,” is a strong closing note to the EP. As the first song the band composed with all of the current members, “It’s a very complete piece that truly defines our sound and who we are as a band,” Benhallam said.

Benhallam describes this track as “simple, yet devastating,” and that could not be more accurate. The first verse ends with the question, “we stay kids for too long, we stay kids for too long, / will anybody love me, will anybody love me?” The melancholy lyrics and mellow guitar flow together seamlessly, growing in intensity until the end when pressure is released into a quiet, desperate, “since there’s no one left tonight, let me in, let me in.”

Post Sixty Five hopes to go on tour with the official release of “I Think We’ll Be Okay,” working towards the release of a full length album in 2016. With the strong potential that the band has proven on this first EP, it is obvious that they will be more than just “okay.” - The Cavalier Daily

"Album Roundup: Post Sixty Five - i think we'll be okay"

As morose as anything Death Cab For Cutie or The National has ever done, Post Sixty Five’s I Think We’ll Be Okay EP isn’t completely honest with itself, but who is? “Now That We’re Outside” projects blame for unrequited love: “And no one ever tells me that you think of me at night.” The menu for “Tied Up,” with “cake for breakfast” and “lemonade hazy and gray” seems like the reason he’s “been sick for days.” More sensual than sad, “Session One” is my favorite: “Lady, I’m fucking around, ice in my mouth / Lady, I’m lying around, overthinking it.” - Whurk Magazine

"Local Musician Check-In: Hicham Benhallam"

Since forming last September, Post Sixty Five has exploded onto the Charlottesville music scene, working hard and playing show after show after show to establish themselves on a terrain already saturated with serious talent. Their hard work seems to have paid off, with their shows drawing sizable crowds to local venues such as The Southern, Tea Bazaar, and Main Street Annex.
Those who have heard them know that Post Sixty Five sounds moody and romantic. Their rich, textural instrumentals are accented with trumpet and heavy guitar riffs, and matched in intensity by the dark, introspective lyrics of front man Hicham Benhallam. In the Cville music scene, they are distinct.
This week, I was able to chat in great detail with Hicham about the darkness behind his words, and how his early influences left an indelible mark on his writing style. - Cville Niche

"Tuning In with Hicham Benhallam"

When Hicham Benhallam knows he’s sketched out a good song, he gets excited. So excited that he paces around his house for 20 minutes or more, listening to the song through all the speakers. “It’s cathartic,” he says. “I sleep so well those nights.”

Songwriting isn’t easy for Benhallam, vocalist and main writer for Charlottesville’s Post Sixty Five. “When I write songs, I’ll really dive into it,” he says, staying up until the wee hours of the morning working on a guitar line or tweaking a lyric so that it fits but still holds its intended meaning. He’ll massage a song until it works, or until he’s ready to let it go and move on. This process can take months. “I think that’s why it’s so tiring for me, and why it takes so long.”

Benhallam learned to play classical guitar growing up in Rabat, Morocco (he earns his bread and butter as a classical guitar teacher here in town), and plays a variety of other instruments. A few years ago, he got the itch to start writing songs, and has been refining his writing process since then. He starts off with what he calls a “sketch” of a song, working first on guitar parts, and vocal melodies, then layers on lyrics and percussion.

He shares these sketches— but only the ones he deems good enough— with friends and his bandmates, and Post Sixty Five develops them from there. “Some of these songs take so long to write,” he says, but he has something to say and can’t ignore the urge to share it.

Post Sixty Five occupies a unique spot in the Charlottesville music scene; they don’t sound like anyone else in town right now, largely due to Benhallam’s arresting voice and the plain emotion present in the songs. The music is atmospheric, the lyrics are earnest, and Benhallam’s deep voice is melancholy. (His voice fits somewhere in the realm of The Antlers’ Peter Silberman and The National’s Matt Berninger.) In the band’s new single, “Beginners,” Benhallam sings, “We stay kids for too long/ We stay kids for too long/ Will anybody love me?/ Will anybody love me?” He’s practically still a kid himself— he’s only 22— but when he repeats these lines, he’s pleading as much as he’s wondering. “Let me in, let me in” he begs later, his voice weary by song’s end, exhausted from removing his heart from his body and stitching it— slowly— to his sleeve.

itwbok_cover_web“Beginners,” like all of the songs on the band’s forthcoming I Think We’ll Be Okay EP, are about violence and anger, but they’re also about love. These are songs about the feeling of longing. It’s a feeling Benhallam knows well, one he feels for Rabat and for his family thousands of miles away in Morocco; one he’s felt when he’s in love, or out of love. When he’s on stage, he says he wrestles constantly with whether or not he should be up there. He’s never quite comfortable on stage, never quite satisfied with what he’s singing or doing, longing for something better. He’ll pound his leg and choke the mic as he feels each word he sings.
“We can get pretty sad,” Benhallam says of the band’s music. But he believes that “anyone in the world will react to feeling, to earnestness, to this zero degree of representation. We’re not particularly cool, but we’re unapologetic— in our music and lyrics— about how terribly sad we can get.” But the band’s music isn’t depressing. There’s a difference between expressing deep, sometimes dark, emotion and being “depressing.” Benhallam’s songs don’t make you feel depressed; instead they’re meant to be there for you to relate to in your own moments of sadness, of need and longing.

Benhallam says that he and his bandmates are proud of I Think We’ll Be Okay and can’t wait to share the new songs with a live audience; the new lineup and the new songs are really working, he says. “We’re really proud of the record. I mean, I’ve been panicking about making something meaningful for quite some time now,” he says. “Every birthday, I’ve been like, ‘I haven’t made anything meaningful yet.’ When I was 16, I started thinking, ‘This is not enough!’”

This is the kind of thinking that has gained Benhallam a reputation as a deep thinker, as a songwriter who cares about the process of his craft. “He is the kind of musician who will obsess over a song,” says Kyle Woolard, who fronts Anatomy of Frank and is a friend of Benhallam’s. “He’s such a thinker. There’s this quote that Hicham said to me one time, and I will carry it with me ’til the day I die. He said, ‘The people that we [he and I as musicians] consort with, the people that we’re chasing in life, are those who are seeking beauty in every part of their life.’ Think about that! He’s right. There’s beauty in every medium, every discipline.” Benhallam is on a quest to uncover that beauty, even when it’s a little dark.

Benhallam’s Tuning In playlist is a collection of songs that mean a lot to him— “they are essentially songs I used to find scary to listen to, and after I started writing songs, I made a point of going into these things completely uneconomically and sort of dove right into these enormous emotional mammoths.” He points out the Jacques Brel songs as “incredibly heartbreaking and uneconomical expressions of despair in the face of getting older and sort of being beat by your own sense of self. I think it’s one of the most powerful expressions of self-surrender I’ve encountered.”

The playlist is constructed in pairs, which is how Benhallam prefers to listen to songs— and how he often ends up writing them. The only solo song is Modest Mouse’s “Little Motel,” a song about what else, but longing for another person.

At the I Think We’ll Be Okay EP release on Thursday, Sept. 24 at The Southern, Post Sixty Five will be joined by various special guests, including Devon Sproule; Jimmy Bullis and Kyle Woolard of Anatomy of Frank; Ryan Lipps from Erin and the Wildfire; and Brian Roy from Kendall Street Company. You can expect new songs, new arrangements of old songs, and plenty of feelings. “Over the last few months, we’ve developed a lot of love for each other as a band, and for other musicians in town as well,” says Benhallam. “We’ve never been happier to play for Charlottesville.” - Cville Niche

"ARTS Pick: Post Sixty Five"

Charlottesville’s Post Sixty Five haunts its audience with raw, melodic tracks led by Moroccan-born songwriter and guitarist Hicham Benhallam. On the new EP, i think we’ll be ok, P65 flows through sophisticated, nuanced songs, gently layered with plaintive lyrics that are full of imagery and emotion. Manatree, KNDRGRDN and Sara Curtin open the show. - Cville

"Haunting new video from Cvill's Post Sixty Five paints a dark picture of romance"

Hailing from Charlottesville, VA, Post Sixty Five has released a new video for their song "Beginners."

The black and white video shot by Pando Creative Co. paints a dreary picture of a couple arriving at a location to enjoy some cake but before long everything seems to go to shit. - RVA Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Born from the mind of songwriter and frontman Hicham Benhallam, the Charlottesville-based band Post Sixty Five has been described as both moody and romantic, feverishly tugging at the heartstrings of its listeners with fragile guitar lines driven by a thunderous rhythm section. Formed in October of 2013, Post Sixty Five brings Benhallam's devastating images to life with dizzy, delicate melodies and disarmingly earnest performances that weigh heavy on the heart.

Band Members