Snail Mail


Oh you know the drill by now…I could basically just put the heart eyes emoji here and have done with it, but that would be lazy (although very accurate), so instead, here’s 500 words that basically add up to several heart eye emojis in a row. You see, over the last few months I’ve been to see some of the best young female musicians the world has to offer, from the impeccable sadness of Julien Baker to the wonderful scathing of Soccer Mommy, via the bonkers pop of Let’s Eat Grandma and the 80s synth lines of Japanese Breakfast. And they’ve all been full heart eyes emoji, but seeing Lindsey Jordan, aka Snail Mail, is set to be my highlight of the lot.

Her debut album Lush, released earlier this year, is already stone cold classic. It has two of the best songs of the year on it in ‘Pristine’ and ‘Stick’, its tales of young love and young heartbreak being the be all and end all of life painfully highlighting how tough it is to get over someone when you’re a kid, so brilliantly put together with pop-rock swagger that it’s like listening to a version of your twenties sung at you. Not that Jordan is even in her twenties, she’s still just 19 which makes it all even more remarkable.

She comes on stage in the Pink Room at promoter Now Wave’s shiny new venue Yes (definitely set to become a favourite over the coming months) with her band, and they warm up with a little extended jam before she breaks into a slowed down version of ‘Heatwave’, elongating the words in a way that makes a few people turn to each other and ask “is she a bit fucked?” because it’s so odd to hear, her voice cracking and obviously struggling with the demand of her first massive tour (apparently last night in Glasgow she had fucked her voice, and was bravely soldiering on here despite obviously being uncomfortable). But then the band break in after “woke up in my clothes having dreamt of you” (one of many, many great lines) and it’s the great bop we’ve all come to see.

She’s so endearing throughout, despite her vocal woes, and the crowd are fully behind her, encouraging her every step of the way. A couple of older songs seem to settle her, ‘Dirt’ and ‘Slug’ from her Habit EP sounding every bit as good as her new material. After the somewhat shaky start, she hits her stride with ‘Full Control’ and then some with the aforementioned ‘Pristine’, word for word sung back at her by the partisan crowd, the breakdown of “if it’s not supposed to be then I’ll just let it be, and out of everyone, be honest with me” cutting deep with the room. Then there’s the stunning one-two of ‘Deep Sea Diver’ followed by the gorgeous ‘Anytime’, one of the most heartbreaking songs of the year, her cracked vocals somehow making it even more powerful, impossible to take your eyes off her as she sings, “in the end you could waste your whole life anyways, and I want better for you” and almost impossible to hold the lump in your throat from going full blown end-of-Forrest-Gump-tears.

And with that she’s gone, seemingly upset that she can’t do a full set (apparently cutting it short by 20mins or so compared to the rest of her tour), no ‘Stick’, no covers (she has been doing Semisonic’s ‘Closing Time’ which I’d have loved to have seen tbf), but even through the issues delivering a brilliant back end of a gig that has made me fall for her even more, if that is at all possible. Hopefully she’ll be back in full force sometime soon, but this was far from a disaster and at 19 she has plenty of time to craft her live show. Give Lush a listen and bask in her heartbreak, you won’t regret it.

Just a quick shout out to Hachiku who supported and was possibly the shyest person I’ve ever seen on stage, barely making eye contact with the crowd, but delivering a lovely set of lo-fi slacker pop that included a cover of The Cranberries’ ‘Dreams’ – wonderful stuff.

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