Release Date: Jun 8, 2018
Record label: Matador
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Envision for a moment, if you wrote and recorded some music in your teen years. What would that sound like? Are you cringing? Because I am. That's just one reason why the work that Lindsey Jordan makes as Snail Mail is so very special. Her 2016 EP Habit won over critics and fans alike with its subdued power and studied melancholy, revealing well beyond her 16 years.
Sincerity is Lindsey Jordan's superpower. The moody guitar confessionals she creates as Snail Mail contend with suburban teenage ennui--the angst of feeling like you're the only person who's truly alive in a dulled world. But unlike so many other disillusioned 18-year-olds with a Fender and a microphone, Jordan does not whine or wallow; she transcends.
Earlier this year, Snail Mail (Lindsey Jordan) made her UK live debut at London's Lexington. It's your quintessential lower mid-size rock bar venue; gritty enough to be described as durably authentic despite intrusions of gentrification over the decades, and gentrified enough that the grit doesn't dissuade casual fans. It's also cramped. Very cramped.
On debut EP 'Habit', Lindsey Jordan presented herself as a supremely talented young songwriter, able to evoke vivid emotions over simple but affecting instrumentation. All this promise is taken to the red line on Snail Mail’s first full-length, 'Lush'. The record is started - and largely defined - by lead single 'Pristine'. The scrappy, lo-fi backing of 'Habit' is beefed up and given a polish, and the new, heftier instrumentation serves to lift the singer's words even higher.
Most of the writing around Snail Mail is going to make reference to Lindsey Jordan's age as a matter of course. You can understand the thinking behind that; after all, most 18-year-olds are not signed to Matador Records. That said, Kate Bush wrote 'The Man with the Child in His Eyes' when she was 13, and Mary Shelley was 19 when she finished Frankenstein; it is not wildly unusual for young women to demonstrate remarkable creative tendencies before they've hit 20.
Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan is victim of the music press's fixation with hyperbole. Touted as a "One to Watch" in the culture section of every newspaper you can think of, and quickly being established as the go-to representative of 2018 indie in music mags that are more familiar with her career thus far, you'd be forgiven for being overwhelmed by the hype machine before you've given her debut LP Lush a fair shot. It's worth turning a blind eye to all of that though, because this is as good of a indie rock debut as you're likely to hear this year.
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Lindsey Jordan was already a known entity in the Baltimore and D.C. music scenes as a high schooler. A near-life-long guitarist, she was taking lessons from Mary Timony (Helium, Ex Hex) around the time she released her first Snail Mail EP as a 16-year-old in 2016. While the guitar work is a focal point of her style in general, it regularly borders on mesmerizing on her full-length debut, 2018's Lush.
Signed to Matador Records mere months after graduating from high school, singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan has steadily garnered recognition from a slew of major media outlets for her candid lyrics, dexterous use of open guitar tunings, and unconventional chord progressions. Even under the weighty burden of heightened media attention and critical acclaim, her band Snail Mail's full-length debut, Lush, unflinchingly delivers more of the raw authenticity that made the Maryland slowcore outfit's 2016 EP, Habit, so magnetic, while boasting both a newfound maturity and musicality. The mellow guitar of the verses on the album's first single, “Pristine,” suits Jordan's placid singing--and brings to mind the unmistakable guitar rhythms of Sonic Youth--which contrasts with the emphatic yearning of the chorus.
To download, click "Share" and right-click the download icon | iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS The Lowdown: Eighteen-year-old Lindsey Jordan (also known as Snail Mail) has been steadily gaining a dedicated following over the last few years, and with Lush, she finally delivers her debut album, a master class in how to grow out of a DIY scene without losing any of the raw charm that turned heads in the first place. The Good: Though it's well-worn territory, Jordan writes about teenage heartbreak with more conviction and detail than almost any of her contemporaries, likely because she's still recovering from her first bout of it. Her lyrics are deceptively complex takes on how brutal it feels to experience a break up for the first time - "And I hope whoever it is/ Holds their breath around you/ Cause' I know I did.
With Snail Mail's Lush, indie rock has officially entered its "Black Crowes era," where young artists refigure music from the decade they were born. But that's not a bad thing here. As the brainchild of 18-year-old Lindsey Jordan, who counts Helium's Mary Timony and Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield as mentors, Snail Mail worship at the altars of Pavement, Liz Phair and Dinosaur Jr.
The moment has finally arrived -- the hype machine of music media has coughed up another "next best" artist -- a yearly/bi-yearly event -- and it just so happens to be Matador's latest signee Lindsey Jordan, AKA Snail Mail . A native of suburban Baltimore, Jordan has been playing the guitar since she was five years old, classically trained, and eventually took lessons with Helium mastermind Mary Timony, one of the finest guitarists and songwriters of the '90s. Jordan's 2017 EP, Habit, released on the DIY punk label Sister Polygon, brought Jordan to the attention of some major media coverage, and her single "Thinning" quickly became a minor indie-rock hit.
'Lush', the full length debut by Baltimore guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Jordan under the name Snail Mail finally arrived last week amidst much hype, much of it as it turns out, fairly justifiable. The attention so far has centred on Jordan's youth (Jordan was born in 1999) relative to her obviously advanced talent. The word prodigious abounds. This is how hype works, patronising and flattering its subject in equal measure, forever obsessed with novelty.
Snail Mail's Lush is both accomplished and raw. Its liquid guitars and dream-fuzzed vocals have turned light years smoother and more polished than on the 2015 EP Habit, but its essential persona is anything but. Lindsey Jordan, ex-high-school-hockey player that she is, may get skinned, bruised, shoved and disrespected, but she rebounds like a teenager (she is a teenager), full of wary hope.
Ah, the teenage years. It's a time defined by growing pains, raging hormones, and the constant, crippling anxiety that comes with thoughts of becoming a functioning, tax-paying adult. Perhaps most of all, it's a time when describing what's going on in your head, and why you're feeling the way you feel at a given moment, can be one of the hardest things imaginable.