Snail Mail @ Lido, Berlin, 11/06/2019

Snail MailOn what appears to be an endless tour, Snail Mail have been exploring Europe and America for at least two years with indie-punk debut, Lush. An emotional masterpiece, Lush perfectly illustrates the complexities of teenage life, maturing and all the stuff in between. Leaving no European city untouched on their mammoth schedule, Berlin’s Lido venue is on the band's agenda tonight, as the central force of the city's indie scene.

Fronted by Baltimore's Lindsey Jordan, Snail Mail jump right in with fan favourite “Heatwave”, mixing it up with a guitar-heavy intro before dropping into a beautifully slow soundscape. With smooth guitar melodies complimenting the brutally honest feeling of a break up, it’s easy to get swept in the electric emotion. Starting with the song is apt. There’s a reason why live shows tend to move outdoors in the summer - it's excruciatingly hot. The Lido’s stickiness steps up another notch with the sea of bodies ebbing to Jordan’s captivating tones.

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Gorgeous track, “Dirt”, is deserving of the poignant solitary searchlight gliding around the venue. Jordan’s gravely vocals manage to reach a barely-there whisper with breathtaking speed, flitting between power and gentle reflection. But adding to the magic is the high notes she can also easily hit, understanding when and when not to stretch the grungy levels. This is especially noticeably on “Golden Dream” which really tests the elongated articulation, heightened by the reverb.

For the final track, the band vacates the stage to leave Jordan on her own. “We’re gonna end with a sad song,” she tells us, “just to make you think.” The offer is an introverted and stripped back rendition of "Stick"; a gentle reminder of the raw vulnerability of Lush and Jordan herself. It’s pretty crazy to think Snail Mail was founded even before Jordan had finished school, needing to request days off for tour dates from her principle.

Mastering pop hooks and combining them with indie-punk is no easy feat but here tonight made to seem so. Having caught Snail Mail at Pitchfork Paris festival last year, I notice a marked improvement in their live performance too, becoming all the more present, relaxed and fun.  They may be fresh-faced in the industry, but the maturity on stage gives no inkling of this away. Snail Mail are killing it right now.

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