Album of the Week: Snail Mail | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 18th, 2024  

Album of the Week: Snail Mail

Lush Out Now via Matador

Jun 08, 2018 Snail Mail Bookmark and Share

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In Lindsey Jordan’s short time as Snail Mail, the 18-year-old has cultivated an assured but dedicated following. Harking back to her ‘90s indie rock predecessors such as Liz Phair, Fiona Apple, and even further back to the likes of The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, she offers guitar-centerd songs that don’t whine or moan or even look for a nostalgia in a past that she hasn’t even lived-as seems to be one of the millennial trends nowadays-but find beauty in the mundane and the small details, the likes of which has been done as successfully by only a handful of her contemporaries in recent years.

Tracks like “Pristine,” “Golden Dream,” and closing song “Anytime” paint her as an idealist, rather than a realist, an optimist, rather than a pessimist. She feels like an indie rock counterweight to Lorde-allowing for a few years and a meteoric rise to fame that her debut album should be enough to afford her. Lyrically, she paints suburban landscapes as though they are exciting theme parks, tranquil Sunday afternoons like the peak of a Saturday night. For those of us old enough to remember the release of Arcade Fire’s Funeral, it’s fair to say that this kind of album doesn’t come around very often, and should be treasured when it does.

On the face of it, Lush can be seen as an optimistic record, lacking in aspiration. It is certainly fair to say that, unlike the plethora of artists she has been compared to, least of all in the above paragraphs, there is no desire for her to break out of her current situation, no urgency in her want to leave behind what she knows. For someone so young to reach this level of content for her surroundings is remarkable at best, but worrying at its least.

Looking at the album through this mindset can dumb down the enthusiasm for what Jordan holds in her future-if five albums down the line, these songs are still being rewritten, then it certainly will get tedious-but the maturity with which she has approached her debut is enough to convince the majority that this is not a future that she is destined for. In short, Lush is a remarkable release, from a singularly gifted musician that offers something that feels new but familiar, all at once and, given the correct management and drive, can be the start of something truly astounding.

Also read our review of Lush.

Snail Mail Tour Dates:

6/9 - Asbury Park, NJ - Asbury Park Brewing
6/12 - Washington, DC - The Black Cat
6/13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Cattivo
6/14 - Toronto, ON - Velvet Underground
6/15 - Detroit, MI - Deluxx Fluxx
6/16 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean
6/17 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
6/18 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
6/20 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
6/22 - Boise, ID - Funky Taco
6/23 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile
6/24 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
6/25 - Portland, OR - Holocene
6/27 - Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club
6/28 - San Francisco, CA - Swedish American Hall
6/29 - Visalia, CA - The Cellar Door
6/30 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
7/1 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
7/3 - Scottsdale, AZ - Pub Rock Live
7/5 - Austin, TX - Barracuda
7/6 - Dallas, TX - Three Links
7/7 - Fayetteville, AR - George’s
7/8 - Nashville, TN - The High Watt
7/9 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
7/10 - Durham, NC - Pinhook
7/11 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
7/12 - Baltimore, MD - The Parkway Theater
7/14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
7/15 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
7/16 - Montreal, QC - L’Escogriffe Bar Spectacle
7/17 - Burlington, VT - ArtsRiot
7/24 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups
7/25 - Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
7/26 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop
7/27 - Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid Scheme
7/29 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
8/17 - Cardiff, UK - Green Man Festival
8/20 - Antwerp, Belgium - Antwerp OLT
8/22 - Luxembourg City, Luxembourg - Conges Annules
8/23 - Düdingen, Switzerland - Bad Bonn
8/28 - Bergen, Norway - Perfect Sounds Forever
8/31 - Asten-Heusden, Netherlands - Misty Fields
9/2 - Dorset, UK - End Of The Road Festival
10/25 - London, UK - The Dome
11/8-10 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Iceland Airwaves

6/12-7/17 w/ Bonny Doon
7/24-7/29 w/ Long Beard
8/20 w/ Blonde Redhead

Album of the Week Runner-ups (Also Released This Week):

The debut album from Washington, DC trio Flasher and the new solo album from the Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys (recorded with a 72-piece orchestra) were a close second and third this week, with the debut album by serpentwithfeet also worth highlighting.

Flasher: Constant Image (Domino)

Gruff Rhys: Babelsberg (Rough Trade)

serpentwithfeet: soil (Secretly Canadian/Tri Angle)

Plus these albums and EPs of note also came out this week:

Lily Allen: No Shame (Warner Bros.)

The Get Up Kids: The Kicker EP (Polyvinyl)

Jon Hassell: Listening to Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) (Ndeya)

Lykke Li: so sad so sexy (RCA)

Tancred: Nightstand (Polyvinyl)

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