Artist: Snail Mail
Record Label: Matador Records
Recommended tracks: Track 2, “Pristine”, Track 4, “Heat Wave”
Lindsey Jordan’s indie-rock solo project Snail Mail, which also comprises of her backing bandmates, released their debut album Lush on June 8, 2018. The listening experience is an emotional rollercoaster that one will quickly be swept away by. With a total of ten songs, this debut album introduces the world to the talent and potential of Snail Mail. Lindsey Jordan has recently been gaining traction as a newer face emerging in the indie rock genre, but the nineteen year old Maryland native has been a musician for most of her life. At the age of five, she began classical training for guitar and established Snail Mail when she was fifteen years old. Lindsey’s songwriting on Lush shines, her vocals soar, and her clean guitar chord progressions are addicting. This debut album explores Jordan’s experiences as a young adult navigating her way through the emotions and frustrations that come with growing up, heartbreak, and self exploration.
Snail Mail’s approach to Lush feels very honest and proves its capability to elaborate on the teenage experience without coming off as cliché or trying too hard. Although the themes in these songs are commonly addressed by artists from all genres, Snail Mail makes them sound new and fresh as if experiencing them for the first time. People of all ages can relate to Lindsey’s lyrics in one way or another whether it be in waves of nostalgia or applying it to one’s current situation as a teenager. Lindsey takes messy stories from real life and turns them into poignant lyrical pieces. She sings with such vulnerability all while sounding unafraid at the same time, even when her voice quivers. This slower paced collection of songs are stitched beautifully with the instrumentation from the strings and drums, especially in “Pristine” and “Heat Wave.”
“Pristine” is the second track on the album that can easily be considered some of Snail Mail’s best work. It’s a melodramatic piece that tackles the heightened emotions stemming from a situation or experience where you think you will never be able to move on. At the 3:23 mark, the guitars slow down right before Lindsey’s vocals explode as she cries out with a sense of urgency. The song builds and melts simultaneously with its intensifying pace that slows down in all of the right places, creating a satisfying payoff. “Pristine’s” shifting of tone and speed effectively supports the idea of the rise and fall in one’s constantly evolving feelings.
The fourth track “Heat Wave” deserves praise, especially for the guitars. The layering and tempo change in this song really shines through. It starts off slow-burning as the guitar is strummed before layered strings distortedly buzz. Lindsey expresses the story of unrequited love and the exhaustion that comes from never feeling enough. Her frustration is palpable throughout the entirety of the song. The blend of the guitars and drums beginning at the 3:17 mark are extremely impressive and enticing.
It’s incredibly exciting to see another female indie rock artist making strides in a predominantly male music scene. Lush by Snail Mail is one of the most striking indie rock debut albums that thoughtfully captures the essence of growing up. Each song delivers a different story and they are all worth listening to.