Snail Mail – Lush
Though I try to keep my finger on the pulse regarding new releases, this record actually comes to me as a recommendation from a friend. Somehow that personal touch seems oddly appropriate to this album, as Lush feels like a product of a more personal time. Its sound is indebted to the heyday of 90s indie, the lyrics as intimate and introspective as scrawled diary entries, and its sentiments making it feel more like a handmade mixtape than a mass-produced album. This debut release from young singer/songwriter Lindsey Jordan is something special. When you’re young your emotions burn brighter than at any other time in your life. Maybe it’s down to experiencing a lot of things for the first time, not having as many past mistakes to learn from, but at your highest you can feel electricity in your veins and at your lowest it can feel like the world is imploding around you. You don’t have to look much further than ‘Pristine’ at the start of the record, with its calls of “I’ll never love anyone else”, to experience that same feeling again.
Lindsey has a real way with words, most notably the rich oceanic imagery on ‘Deep Sea’, and her voice on tracks like ‘Stick’ and ‘Golden Dream’ weaves melodies both sweet and sombre, reminiscent of the likes of Julien Baker and Keaton Henson. Though her voice and her words may be the real stars of the show, musically Lush really lives up to its name. The hazy guitar tones feel so natural and effortless, and just drift through the record as sure and steady as a river flows. The drumming is wonderfully expressive throughout, ‘Heat Wave’ has some fantastic fuzzy riffs, while ‘Let’s Find An Out’ takes a more folk inspired path. The only thing I could really fault this album for is the stark and simplistic artwork. As a songwriter Lindsey channels the emotional tempest of youth into her work, but as an artist she delivers it in such a mature and confident way that most acts don’t come close to, even with their greater experience. Lush is easily one of the best debuts to ever grace the site; an exceptional first outing for this immensely talented rising star.