Posts Tagged ‘Lindsey Jordan’

Snail Mail’s new album “Valentine” is due out November 5th via Matador Records , and the latest single is the synthy, distorted “Ben Franklin”. “I wanted to sonically and lyrically get out of my comfort zone with ‘Ben Franklin,'” Lindsey Jordan says. “It felt only right that the visual accompaniment should include dancing in front of a camera and holding a 10 foot snake close to my face.”

On her 2018 debut album “Lush”, seventeen-year-old Lindsey Jordan sang “I’m in full control / I’m not lost / Even when it’s love / Even when it’s not”. Her natural ability to be many things at once resonated with a lot of people. The contradiction of confidence and vulnerability, power and delicacy, had the impact of a wrecking ball when put to tape. It was an impressive and unequivocal career-making moment for Jordan.

On “Valentine”, her sophomore album Lindsey solidifies and defines this trajectory in a blaze of glory. In 10 songs, written over 2019-2020 by Jordan alone, we are taken on an adrenalizing odyssey of genuine originality in an era in which “indie” music has been reduced to gentle, homogenous pop composed mostly by ghostwriters. Made with careful precision, “Valentine” shows an artist who has chosen to take her time. The reference points are broad and psychically stirring, while the lyrics build masterfully on the foundation set by Jordan’s first record to deliver a deeper understanding of heartbreak.

On “Ben Franklin”, the second single of the album, Jordan sings “Moved on, but nothing feels true / Sometimes I hate her just for not being you / Post rehab I’ve been feeling so small / I miss your attention, I wish I could call”. It’s here that she mourns a lost love, conceding the true nature of a fleeting romantic tie-up and ultimately, referencing a stay in a recovery facility in Arizona. This 45-day interlude followed issues stemming from a young life colliding with sudden fame and success. Since she was not allowed to bring her instruments or recording equipment, Jordan began tabulating the new album arrangements on paper solely out of memory and imagination. It was after this choice to take radical action that “Valentine” really took its unique shape.

Jordan took her newfound sense of clarity and calm to Durham, North Carolina, along with the bones of a new album. Here she worked with Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee). For all the album’s vastness and gravity, it was in this small home studio that Jordan and Cook chipped away over the winter of early 2021 at co-producing a dynamic collection of genre-melding new songs, finishing it triumphantly in the spring. They were assisted by long time bandmates Ray Brown and Alex Bass, as well as engineer Alex Farrar, with a live string section added later at Spacebomb Studios in Richmond.

Leaning more heavily into samples and synthesizers, the album hinges on a handful of remarkably untraditional pop songs. The first few seconds of opener and title track ‘Valentine’ see whispered voice and eerie sci-fi synth erupt into a stadium-sized, endorphin-rush of a chorus that is an overwhelming statement of intent. “Ben Franklin”, “Forever (Sailing)” and “Madonna” take imaginative routes to the highest peaks of catchiness. Jordan has always sung with a depth of intensity and conviction, and the climactic pop moments on “Valentine” are delivered with such a tenet and a darkness and a beauty that’s noisy and guttural, taking on the singularity that usually comes from a veteran artist.

As captivating as the synth-driven songs are, it’s the more delicate moments like “Light Blue”, “c.et. al.” and “Mia” that distill the albums range and depth. “Baby blue, I’m so behind / Can’t make sense of the faces in and out of my life / Whirling above our daily routines / Both buried in problems, baby, honestly” Jordan sings on “c. et. al.” with a devastating certainty. These more ethereal, dextrously finger-picked folk songs peppered in throughout the album are nuanced in their vocal delivery and confident in their intricate arrangement. They come in like a breath of air, a moment to let the mind wander, but quickly drown the listener in their melodic alchemy and lyrical punch.

The album is rounded out radiantly by guitar-driven rock songs like “Automate”, “Glory” and “Headlock”. Reminiscent of Lush but with a marked tonal shift, Jordan again shows her prowess as a guitar player with chorus-y leads and rhythmic, wall-of-sound riffs. “Headlock” highlights this pivot with high-pitched dissonance and celestially affected lead parts – “Can’t go out I’m tethered to / Another world where we’re together / Are you lost in it too?”, she sings with grit and fatigue, building so poignantly on her sturdy foundation of out-and-out melancholy. On “Valentine”, we are taken 100 miles deeper into the world Jordan created with Lush, led through passageways and around dark corners, landing somewhere we never dreamed existed.

Today, in the wake of recording “Valentine”, Jordan is focused on trying to continue healing without slowing down. The album comes in the midst of so much growth, in the fertile soil of a harrowing bottom-out. On the heels of life-altering success, a painful breakup and 6 weeks in treatment, Jordan appears vibrant and sharp. “Mia, don’t cry / I love you forever / But I gotta grow up now / No I can’t keep holding onto you anymore” she sings on the album closer “Mia”. She sings softly but her voice cuts through like a hacksaw. The song is lamenting a lost love, saying a sombre goodbye, and it closes the door on a bitter cold season for Jordan. Leaving room for a long and storied path, “Valentine” is somehow a jolt and a lovebuzz all at once.

“Ben Franklin” is taken from the upcoming album ‘Valentine’ by Snail Mail, out November 5th on Matador Records.

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Three years after dropping her much-adored debut album “Lush”, Snail Mail has announced her new LP “Valentine”, out on October 5th. The project’s title track, out today, is a sunburst of unrequited love with one very scream-worthy hook that will find a special place in the heart of anyone with a soft spot for anthemic alt-rock. Josh Coll directs the music video, streaming below, and turns in a tale of aristocratic affection with buckets worth of blood.

Many young female musicians who were heralded as prodigies have made music this year revisiting the barbarity of that early renown, the powerlessness they felt as teenagers trapped in an all-consuming gaze. Lorde described having “nightmares from the camera flash”; Billie Eilish observed “a stalker walking up and down the street” Clairo spoke about being “just useless and a whore” but still getting cosigned by “your favourite one-man show” after being sexualized in the industry. To deal with the aftereffects of a “young life colliding with sudden fame,” Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail who became an indie rock phenom after she released her debut album, “Lush” at 18—spent time at a recovery facility. There she charted out arrangements for what would be her upcoming second album, Valentine, later building on and refining those sketches in North Carolina with producer Brad Cook. Her intimate worlds, usually confined to a “you” and “I,” now face unwanted intruders: “Careful in that room,” she warns a lover on Valentine’s title track. “Those parasitic cameras, don’t they stop to stare at you?”

The most striking change on “Valentine” is Jordan’s voice, which is deeper, hoarser, and more mature than before. It cuts through foggy, cinematic synths as she lays out the unsteady dynamics of a relationship (“You’ve gotta live/And I gotta go”) while emphasizing the force of her devotion (“Fuck being remembered/I think I was made for you”). “Valentine” is accompanied by a gory, high-drama music video in which Jordan plays a chambermaid to a high-society woman with whom she has an illicit affair; crestfallen and crazed after seeing her lover with a man, she binge-drinks, stuffs her face with cake, and eventually murders him. The song ratchets up from slow-jam to power pop, souring in an instant as Jordan reels from betrayal: “So why’d you want to erase me?” she cries, speeding into the question with all of her might. Jordan is shattered yet hopeful, anticipating future envy upon seeing her lover with someone else and preparing for when, not if, they change their mind. Undergirding all these emotions is a simple truth: “I adore you.”

2/18 – Manchester, England – Manchester Academy 2
2/20 – Glasgow, Scotland – QMU
2/22 – Bristol, England – SWX
2/23 – London, England – O2 Forum Kentish Town

Valentine, the new album, is out on Matador Records

Valentine

All it takes is one song. In the case of Snail Mail, that song was called “Thinning,” and it was released on the band’s debut EP “Habit”, which Lindsey Jordan wrote when she was still in high school. “Thinning” had a riff that sounded like it was underwater, and Jordan’s muscly rasp cut through the surface as she sang about isolation and loneliness in a way that felt distinctly teenaged and still somehow universal. The song gave you That Feeling, the kind that is hard to describe but you’ll know it when you hear it. Simple and anthemic, it’s the type of song that makes you think, “Man, I wish I wrote that.”

It must have been scary for Jordan to write the follow-up to Habit after a dizzying rise that landed her on Matador Records in her senior year. Replicating That Feeling is near-impossible, but Jordan is more than capable of doing it. Snail Mail’s debut full-length, Lush, has songs that are as massive and crowd-pleasing as “Thinning” (“Full Control,” “Pristine,” “Heat Wave”) but there are moments of repose on this album, too, that are just as lovely (“Let’s Find An Out,” “Deep Sea”). It would have been easy for Jordan to tunnel into self-doubt, to question every decision and churn out a work that felt muddled or rushed. Instead, she made a supremely confident, maddeningly catchy guitar rock album equipped to compete with the classics.

Snail Mail’s 2018 debut albumLush” had the power to ease the pain of a breakup six months before it even happened, and would still be around to patch up the wounds six months after. It became an outlier in an incredibly strong scene of American indie rock stars that came to the forefront in the late 2010s, including Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy, and Lucy Dacus. Lindsey Jordan’s poetic post-breakup examination perfectly portrayed how absorbing love can be, reaching a wide audience for whom the songs resonated as they began to assign their own meaning to Jordan’s scriptures of fading romance. Inevitably, a relentless tour cycle started, with years spent on the road while quickly transitioning out of her teenage years.

“The tour really fucked me up,” Jordan says. “I was putting pressure on myself and I had nothing to write about, either. It was big for me to wait [on writing a new album] until I had things to write about. If you heard my ‘tour album’ it wouldn’t be anything anyone asked for. Everyone would be like, ‘How am I supposed to relate to this?’” For all musicians who tour relentlessly there are consequences for traveling the world, which you have to accept. “You miss birthday parties, weddings, funerals—they’re hard. It’s a conscious trade off. I choose to be away for a lot of the time, which changes how you sit in people’s lives.”

Jordan had to learn to grow up quickly. Initially wanting to be at every single party or industry event and to make friends with all the other bands around her, this couldn’t be sustained and she soon came to realize the unique skill set that being a touring musician demands. “You learn how to do everything, like how to treat people on a stage,” she explains. she told fans that her second album would be even more depressing than the last. That album,Valentine”, takes the deepest blows found on Lush and presses hard on the wounds. The title track and lead single show a clear sonic evolution as murmurs of synth stalk in the shadows and Jordan switches from a hushed tone to an almost blood-curdling scream of, “So why’d you want to erase me, darling Valentine?”  Lindsey Jordan gives a lot of herself to these songs, each one relative to her own experience. Here we get to see her in a new, sometimes much darker light, such as on “Ben Franklin.” “Expanding as a writer, for me, meant exploring more avenues of feeling. I realized being as genuine as possible meant portraying myself in an ugly way. ‘Sometimes I hate her for not being you’ is a nasty line. I was like, ‘I think this portrays me as a piece of shit, but it’s true!’”

Meanwhile, the equally bittersweet “Forever (Sailing)” propels love to its most cosmic, overwhelming proportions—it’s about feeling so much for someone that it’s not just all-consuming, but fucking terrifying. The crystalline convergence of starry-eyed tones gives way to a sudden realization: “So much destruction, look at what we did.” Through mutually assured destruction comes the decimation of anything else in orbit. The stakes feel higher than ever, the well is at its deepest.

Jordan has made a career out of sharing snapshots from some of life’s most excruciating moments, some of her own biggest losses and periods of her greatest personal turmoil. When sharing so much, it can be hard for an artist to define their own boundaries as to how much of their world the listener gets to see. “I feel like I gave away a lot in the lyrics, and explaining further in some cases gives away more than I’m willing to. I toed the line so closely with every single song. I’m still trying to stay within the boundaries I set.”  Yet this line in the sand between privacy and tell-all is arguably what makes Snail Mail such an enthralling storyteller—each song feels like an invitation. In being so in touch with herself, Jordan’s musings on how completely shattering relationships can be becomes a tool for us to navigate our own experiences. At the end of “Lush”, Jordan was left feeling a former partner’s absence on “Anytime.” On Valentine closer “Mia” we’re in that moment again, yet this time we’re in the room with the tears falling. We’ve delved even further into Snail Mail’s world of love, longing, and fracturing heartbreak.

One of the most anticipated follow-ups in indie-rock, “Valentine” was written and produced by Lindsey Jordan and co-produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee). Written in 2019-2020 the album is filled with romance, heartbreak, blood, sweat and tears.

‘Valentine’ by Snail Mail, out November 5th on Matador Records.

Snail Mail Search for Escape on Dreamy New <i>Lush</i> Single, "Let's Find An Out"

Snail Mail’s debut album Lush isn’t released until June 8th, a veritable eternity from now, but Lindsey Jordan and her band have shared another preview of their much-anticipated LP this morning in the form of dreamy new single “Let’s Find An Out.”

The song’s escapist sentiment is matched by its gorgeous instrumentation and imagery: “June’s glowing red / Oh, strawberry moon,” sings Jordan over delicate fingerpicking and barely there bass, later urging, “Let’s find an out / We’ll start anew.” At a mere two minutes and change, “Let’s Find An Out” differs from previous Lush singles “Pristine” and “Heat Wave” which clock in at around five minutes each on multiple levels, eschewing their sprawling electric dynamism for a concise acoustic revery. This softer side of Jordan’s songcraft draws from her childhood training in classical guitar, revealing another new dimension of an exciting young artist on the rise.

Listen to “Let’s Find An Out” and check out Snail Mail’s tour dates. Snail Mail’s debut album ‘Lush’ out June 8th on Matador Records.

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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Lindsey Jordan has a lot of firepower for an 18-year-old. The Maryland-based Matador Records signee was stylishly clad with a red guitar in tow and sleek shades. Throughout the set, the band gave way to the commanding Jordan for a powerful 40 minutes in front of what felt like the largest crowd of the day. Something big is brewing here, take note…For Indie rock wunderkind Lindsey Jordan and her band, Snail Mail, have announced the release of their debut album. Lush, which follows 2017’s Habit EP, is out June 8th via Matador Records.

“Pristine” continues the personal, intimate feel of Habit, which was written in Jordan’s suburban bedroom. But “Pristine” aims a bit higher, with soaring choruses and crisp guitars crafting a shimmering backdrop for Jordan’s musings on young love. “Don’t you like me for me?” she sings. “I know myself, I’ll never love anyone else.”

Ah, to be young. And yet, “Pristine” is a grand step forward for a promising songwriter who — despite the hype — is really just getting started.

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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)