At only 20 years old, Lindsey Jordan is making a big name for herself in the band Snail Mail. They released the Habit EP in 2016 and most recently released their cover of “2nd Most Beautiful Girl in the World” in February 2019. Snail Mail finally released their first full-length LP in 2018 entitled Lush. The 10 songs flow seamlessly together to share the melancholy and angst associated with being a teenager in love.
Much of Lush is telling the story of someone still waiting for answers and filled with uncertainty. At the same time, the main character has to come to terms with the idea that love is not black and white.
Jordan manages to achieve a very difficult task on this album: she is able to capture the emotionally-driven thoughts of a teenager in love without it being cliché or whiny. Jordan incorporates a self-deprecating element to her lyrics, similar to that of Fiona Apple or Courtney Barnett. She articulates the feelings with a perfect mix of humility and being unapologetically herself. The lyrics tackle the confidence issues of teenagers (“Don’t you like me for me”) and how unpredictability turns into heartbreak (“I’m feeling low/ I’m not into sometimes.”)
“Pristine” was the first single released off the album and it sets the scene for its content, both lyrically and instrumentally. Clean guitars and bass provide warmth to lyrics that are a little darker and cold. Jordan’s years of classical guitar training are shown off, especially in songs like “Let’s Find an Out.” Transparency is a common theme between the lyrics and the instruments, with both being very straightforward, clear and raw. This rawness makes it easy for the listener to connect with the songs. Many have compared Snail Mail’s music style to that of Pavement, Cat Power, Elliot Smith and Sonic Youth. The subtle hints of these heavier grunge tones inspired by those artists mix with sincere lyrics and simple melodies to create Lush.
On a larger scale, Snail Mail is part of a bigger group of new musicians in the indie rock world. Female artists like Frankie Cosmos, boygenius and Soccer Mommy are all aged 25 or younger and are gaining a significant following in an industry where their age and gender are often obstacles. They are tackling the issues of confidence and learning to love yourself, regardless of what other people or society says. These new female groups are leading the way for a new wave of rock musicians bringing in a young, female perspective that is not often found in today’s music industry.
Snail Mail’s album explores the hurt of unrequited love with a mature perspective and clear instruments to match the straightforward vibe. All of this is even more impressive when you factor in that lead singer Lindsey Jordan was only 18 when she began releasing music. Snail Mail’s ability to capture feelings in lyrics and music as a young female rock group elevates their music from other DIY and indie bands in the industry today.