This is a story of girl meets guitar, but you should know upfront, this is not a story where you already know the end. That’s because the beginning is only just underway and trust us when we say, you’ll want to stick around for this.
The storyline may seem familiar on paper. Girl picks up guitar, pens songs about languid teenage life, starts a band, and plays live shows in her suburban hometown. However, this isn’t your tale of simplicity or derivativeness. This is the basic plot for Lindsey Jordan, the musician behind Snail Mail. Under this name, she’s producing music occupied by undeniable poise, adolescent anguish, and deep apprehension of romantic relationships. Not to mention, she’s doing all of this at just 19 years old.
Hailing from Ellicott City, Maryland, Jordan began learning classical guitar training at the age of five years old and a decade later, wrote her first batch of tunes under the Snail Mail moniker. At the crossroads of punk, indie-pop, and guitar-driven rock, the teenage singer/songwriter is gaining incredible praise for her acute songwriting and substantial prowess in song structure. In 2015, Jordan began playing her songs live with her band. The sound of Snail Mail is significantly guitar-induced due to Jordan’s vibrant skills behind the instrument. Recently, Rolling Stone called Jordan “an indie-rock prodigy.”
Snail Mail released their striking EP, Habit, via Priests’ in-house label in 2016. It featured the track, “Thinning”, which indeed was the catalyst to Snail Mail’s preliminary acclaim. Under a lo-fi dream-pop/slacker rock umbrella, Jordan’s able to channel 90s indie rock with fuzzy guitars and lush textures. The Habit EP consists of six stirring tracks with Snail Mail absorbing suburban blues, coping with teenage anxieties, and trying to shake off the uncertainties of an apathetic future. Cunningly produced and devastatingly heartbreaking at times, Habit challenges Jordan in balancing her life as a teenager with the convoluted mindset of someone much older.
Jordan has been building a strong reputation for her amazing live shows playing SXSW in 2017 and 2018 as well as touring behind the likes of Priests, Girlpool, Waxahatchee, Japanese Breakfast, and Palehound. Signing onto Matador Records last September, Jordan along with her current bassist Alex Bass and drummer Ray Brown, will be releasing their debut album, Lush, on June 8. Thus far, we’ve heard “Pristine” and “Heat Wave”—two tracks lyrically propelled by nuances, heartbreak, and being emotionally paralyzed by hapless relationships.
This early look to Snail Mail’s forthcoming LP appears to thematically build off her previous work, but journeys through a larger soundscape that’s both majestic and imposing. Through enthralling and fuzzed-out rock echoes, Snail Mail’s deeply emotional resonance is intrepid, stunning, and arresting. Fluctuating from gleaming guitar licks to the edges of indie-pop dispositions, Snail Mail’s overall sound is as immense as the singer’s aerial vocals. The beginning of 2018 saw Snail Mail play her first headlining tour and from the looks of it, this is the first of many more to come.