If you read any 2018 year-end best of music lists—and since you’re here I’m guessing you did—you likely noticed Snail Mail near the top of many of them. It’s name under which musician Lindsey Jordan performs er incredibly accomplished and emotive guitar rock. What’s most astounding though is that Jordan, at 19 years old, wasn’t even alive when snail mail was a primary form of communication for many. That doesn’t detract from her taking many of her musical cues from ‘90s indie rock, and turning them into something wholly own able by only her.
On her debut Lush, Jordan works melancholic lyrics into instantly memorable melodies. Album opener “Pristine” sets the blueprint for her approach, marrying the entropy of teenage life where every emotion is huge and all encompassing with observational wisdom most don’t even have as “grown up” adults. The trick here is that you get the feeling Jordan is well aware that the overwrought emotion in “Pristine” is just that—overwrought.
Her knack for crafting musical beds for her thoughts is striking and displays a craft well beyond her years. Jordan’s talents are wide and she harnesses her boundless potential with style and grace. Much of her guitar work comes across as propelling a jangly ray of overcast sunshine that yearns for a single cloud-cleared day.
Snail Mail is in town tonight, January 17, to play a hotly anticipated set at The Metro as part of the Tomorrow Never Knows festival. If you’re going, might I suggest you get there early since Chicago’s VARSITY is the first opening act of the evening, and their shows are always filled with indie poppy fun.