Posts Tagged ‘Habit EP’

Snail Mail: <i>Lush</i> Review

“Lush” is a collection of 10 lucid guitar-pop songs that show off Lindsey Jordan’s classically-trained guitar skills, structural know-how, plus an ability to express the inquisitiveness and confident insecurity of youth with a surprising sophistication. “They don’t love you, do they?” she asks during the magic-hour-esque “Intro,” her clear and comfortingly vocal singing the first of many questions she poses throughout the album.

Envision for a moment, if you wrote and recorded some music in your teen years. 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. Since then, Jordan has graduated high school, toured with the likes of Waxahatchee and Girlpool .

On “Pristine,” she seems to be speaking to someone else. “Don’t you like me for me?,” she asks, eliciting the pangs of your high school crush over low-burning, muted guitars with a ‘90s lean. “Stick” is filled with questions that could be for herself as much as they’re for someone else. “And did things work out for you? / Are you still not sure what that means?,” she sings—an arresting inquiry matched only by the skillful build of the music behind it. It swells and recedes beautifully in a way that when she finally lets the wave crash, the force nearly knocks you over.

Jordan’s music is laid-back, gently hooky, and complements the poetic vagueness of her lyrics. There isn’t enough detail for you to know exactly what she’s talking about, but you understand the mood. “Deep Sea” utilizes a song-length diving metaphor, with Jordan artfully using references to the bends, tides, and the blues and greens of the ocean as stand ins for loneliness, uncertainty, and a person’s responsibility for themselves—the french horn and Jordan’s soft strums driving the point home. “Full Control” hits you in the gut, her inner-conflict expressed in lyrics like “Shouldn’t be here when you get back / Just to stand in line / Wait for you and then waste my time,” as well as the gutsy chorus that features some of Jordan’s heartiest singing.

Though the highs and lows of the album are subtle, Lush confirms what the Habit EP first introduced. Jordan is a definite talent. The songs illustrate a wise-beyond-years songwriting style, with none of the self-importance and indulgence that can come with more experience. Nothing feels trite or contrived. She’s a natural, with an impressive sense of restraint, placing points of tension and release right where they need to be.

Snail mail vinyl

Snail Mail’s EP debut (originally released on cassette July 2016) is now available on black 12″ vinyl, 45RPM. First pressing of 1000 copies with download code included. Habit, the debut 6 Track EP from Baltimore’s Snail Mail, is a perfect, late-summer record. Lindsey Jordan, who is 17-years-old, wrote Habit in her suburban Maryland bedroom between shows and school. She teamed up with her friend and drummer Shawn Durham and bassist Ryan Viera to record the six-track EP in DC. The result is six really amazing indie-pop tracks that will be loved by fans of Best Coast, Alvvays and Veronica Falls.

 

Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan Is Still Doing It for Herself

On June 8th, Snail Mail—which is Lindsey Jordan’s brainchild but performs as a quartet—will release their debut album, Lush, via Matador Records. Now out of high school and pursuing music full time, Jordan still isn’t sure about all the attention, but she’s definitely sure of herself. In her recent interview , she spoke honestly about recording Lush, her identity as an openly gay woman, and how she’s changed her approach to making music now that so many people are listening. Despite the hype—which she admits has forced her to “grow up” and sometimes puts her in a “really weird place”—she is smart, capable and fully in control. “I didn’t care if anybody heard [my music] before,” she said. “Now I don’t really care how people take it, but I do care what I feel about the music that I’m putting out.”

At 18, most people are applying to colleges, falling in and out of first love, still figuring out how they see the world—and how they see themselves. Lindsey Jordan is doing all that, but she’s also playing in her band, Snail Mail.

After coming out of the Baltimore underground scene, where her allies included Washington, D.C. punk mainstays Priests and her guitar teacher, Mary Timony (of Helium and Ex Hex fame), Jordan released the first Snail Mail EP, Habit,

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Guitar/vocals- Lindsey Jordan
Drums- Shawn Durham
Bass- Ryan Vieira

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At age 18, Brooklyn-based Baltimore kid Lindsey Jordan has already been through a whirlwind word-of-mouth rise through the underground, a round of breathless media exaltation, a SXSW star tour, and a label bidding war that landed her band Snail Mail on historical indie-rock pillar Matador Records. So what does everybody see in her? Debut EP Habit is pretty much all we have to go on so far, but it presents Jordan as a natural, a songwriter capable of spinning magic from a few guitar chords and howled phrases. Her lo-fi guitar ballads glimmer in their grime, wringing uncommon beauty from indie rock’s basic toolkit. Imagine Waxahatchee under the influence of both Sonic Youth and actual youth, and you’ll begin to understand what all the fuss is about.

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Guitar/vocals- Lindsey Jordan 
Drums- Shawn Durham
Bass- Ryan Vieira

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“I hated every single person I played with,” Lindsey Jordan I got treated pretty poorly. Everyone was nasty, everyone was alt-right. It was very frat-bro even when I was eight.”

Jordan, is the singer, guitarist and principle songwriter of Maryland indie rock trio Snail Mail, she is recalling her experiences playing on a boys’ ice hockey team. The sport is her other love besides music. It has become something of a litmus test for navigating a turbulent music industry, riddled as it is with sexism, greed and sexual misconduct . Despite no longer playing ice hockey, Jordan remains a fervent follower of the sport. She applies much of the discipline and determination learnt from her athletic years to her music career.

This resolute and precocious stance has served Jordan and her band members well. Snail Mail was formed in early 2015 off the back of an opportune moment to play a local festival. Jordan’s friend, Angie Swiecicki, from the post punk band Post Pink, was playing at Baltimore’s Unregistered Nurse. Swiecicki offered to help Jordan get a slot at the festival if she formed a band.

After quickly enlisting friends Ryan Vieira on bass and Shawn Durham on drums, Jordan just had two weeks to galvanise the group to play what was supposed to be a one-off show. She had been a guitarist since the age of five but this was her first band. “I didn’t really have any plans or desires to play anything after that,” she explains, “but then it just started going really well.”

Snail Mail played the festival alongside Priests, Sheer Mag, and Screaming Females. Washington DC punks Priests were so impressed with the band that they proposed releasing a cassette on their label, Sister Polygon.

The aptly titled Habit EP – a collection of Jordan’s bedroom songs written out of “old habit” during her high school years – was released in July 2016. The band (Brown and Russell having replaced Vieira and Durham) got to work, busying itself with gigs in DC and Baltimore.

Habit EP opener “Thinning” perfectly encapsulates the oft confused soul-searching of adolescence. A lo-fi lode of jangly, open-tuned guitars and scrubby drums sit behind Jordan’s mumblings of certain uncertainty. She darts between wanting to waste the entire year “just face down/and on my own time” and spending the rest of it asking herself “Is this who you are?” while feeling “gross” about it all anyway. One imagines that the restlessness in “Thinning” – its lyrics “hot head and dreamless sleep” – sprouts from suburban boredom. But the song’s propulsive rhythm and anthemic guitars exercise an opposing force: excitement and resolve.

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Snail Mail“Thinning” from the Habit EP on Sister Polygon Records

Brooklyn-via-Baltimore singer /songwriter/guitar prodigy Lindsey Jordan aka Snail Mail is the latest addition to the Matador Records roster.  Snail Mail will release a full-length album in 2018, following Sister Polygon’s 2017 12″ reissue of the of the introductory cassette, ‘Habit’Snail Mail’s NPR Tiny Desk concert premiered this morning, and might provide a hint or several why press, musical peers (including but not limited to Waxahatchee, Priests and Girlpool), and yeah, record labels have taken so much interest in a short spell..

Jordan has a voice that only comes along every now and then … she is able to fit a universe of emotion into a single turn of phrase without any vocal affectation … whether she’s muttering or shouting, you feel the heartbreak, the frustration, the joy that came with writing these lyrics”

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Jordan started Snail Mail at 15 and released the quietly stunning Habit EP via Priests‘ in-house label last year. She’s quickly found fans in Helium and Ex Hex’s Mary Timony (who also happens to be Jordan’s guitar teacher) and just went on tour with Waxahatchee and Palehound. She’s just signed to Matador Records.

Set List

  • “Slug”
  • “Thinning”
  • “Anytime”

MUSICIANS

Lindsey Jordan (electric guitar, vocals); Raymond Brown (drums); Alex Bass (bass)