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Snail Mail's Guitar-Driven Debut LP Establishes Lindsey Jordan As a Vital New Voice

Lindsey Jordan's debut LP deftly polishes her sound without sacrificing one ounce of the gripping, raw intimacy that made her 2016 EP Habit so promising.


July 20, 2018 | by Dan Alvarez

Snail Mail



Grade: B+

Ever notice how the "indie rock is dead" commentary started ramping up just as an exciting, diverse generation of young female singer-songwriters surpassed their stringy-haired, neck-bearded counterparts? Funny how that works. Don’t let the think pieces fool you — independent guitar music is thriving, thanks in great part to an deluge of talented women like Julien Baker, Georgia McDonald, Katie Crutchfield, Laetitia Tamko, and Sophie Allison, just to name a few.

Maryland-native Lindsey Jordan is one of these vital voices. After putting out a promising 2016 bedroom EP, Habit, the 19-year-old’s debut LP deftly polishes her sound without sacrificing one ounce of the gripping, raw intimacy that made her first project so promising. The first thing you notice about Lush is her clever, multi-faceted guitar work. The disc is full of rich, layered (ahem, "lush") melodies that rise and fall right along with the emotional tenor of each track.

Lead-off heartbreaker, "Pristine," is a prime example. It opens with a knotty riff that mirrors the frustration of loving someone who doesn’t love you back, before resolving to triumphant, splashy chords that express the freedom of moving on from said sad situation. The nimble, Kurt Vile-ish fingerpicking of “Let’s Find an Out” beautifully captures the ennui of being stuck in a routine, as a wistful Jordan yearns for a fresh start with a person who is "always coming back a little older."

Lyrically, she’s constantly on the search, wondering if she’ll ever be the right kind of person or ever find her space in the world. Those are the kind of questions you ask when you’re young, assuming that you’ll figure it all out soon enough (mid-20’s at the latest). But as someone almost 15 years her senior, I’m realizing that we are all constantly asking those same questions, no matter how old we are — despite having more experience to sift through, we're still no closer to the answers. That quality gives her songwriting a universality and is likely one of the key elements that has connected fans so deeply to her music.

Listen to "Pristine" // Buy Lush at the Matador Store

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