An emotional rollercoaster ride with Snail Mail’s Lush

LushBarely out of high school and dropping a debut album as mesmerising as Lush; just how does Snail Mail, aka Baltimore's Lindsey Jordan, make this happen? We ask ourselves this question because her indie pop with undertones of slow-core grunge has never sounded so fresh and important.

Classically trained at the age of 5, Jordan must have become bored with the conductor’s wand, as you can’t help but feel she was waiting to come of age, get out of her hometown, and blow the world away with this debut record. In the short time gathered since leaving education, Snail Mail has also toured the states, opening for Girlpool and Waxahtchee, and joined a debate for the New York Times about women in punk.

If you can’t appreciate great guitar groove that borders on grunge; if a detuned guitar makes your ears bleed; and beautiful electric finger-picking bores you; run away and join the circus, because this girl can play.

After a rather strung out intro, lead single and opening track “Pristine” sets the bar high. You instantly fall for her voice; clear, powerful and with just the right amount of effortlessness in her tone to sound seriously cool.

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“Heat Wave” is another one of the album's triumphant moments. That guitar playing we mentioned is in full force here, manoeuvring tenderly between picks and chords. Then the band are brought to life and things get distorted with a further, fist punching solo. The song is so well-crafted with delightful electric surprises you forget the words are wallowing in the aftermath of a crumbling mid-summer relationship, a song she credits as helping her to deal with her emotions. Elsewhere, her classical training is revisited on “Let’s Find An Out”. It’s a beautiful guitar track that has a young, free and wandering feel, albeit a little disorientated.

As Lush draws to a close, “Full Control” sees Snail Mail's trademark grunge fighting for attention, as “Deep Sea” offers up a late night affair, oozing subtle and sweeping harmonies alongside a French horn. And that’s the charm with Lush. Each track offers something a little different. Jordan’s voice is beyond mesmerising and her ability to write honestly, regarding often chaotic and messy teenage years is a testament to her maturity. You feel her plight as the moody rock and soft-burning guitar hooks crafts tension, leaving you poised for some sort of resolve that you don’t always get. This album is an emotional rollercoaster and the perfect setting for her explosive personality.

Release: 8th June 2018, Matador

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