by Keegan Priest
Rating: A- (91%)
In a genre like Indie-Rock, sounds become blurred. With 40-50 years of genre evolution, creative innovation has become a scarce thing. And it’s because of this lack of progression that has turned me off to lots of modern rock music. Although it’s a cynical way of thinking about it, you could say that everything good that has ever been in rock has already happened. But nineteen-year-old Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail reminds me that there is still amazing sounds coming from the genre. And with her debut studio album Lush, she’s shows a skilled and youthful reinvention of something already stretched so thin.
Barely out of high school, Lindsey can barely even vote. Yet as I listen to Lush again and again, she plays with so much wisdom and maturity. Learning to play guitar at five years old, and later learning to how to write songs four years later, she was an early bloomer. Her guitar playing is very technically skilled, and her mood laced chords carry the album from one emotional ballad to another. With little years under her belt, Lindsey plays with a maturity not found in even guitarist twice her age. Jordan uses the concept of tone and sound to perfectly accompany her melancholy songwriting, and never fails to make you feel something.
Lush is an album of feeling. It’s hard to sit through this project without falling it to Lindsey’s trap of nostalgia. Contrary to what I wrote earlier, Lush is an album about adolescence and learning to live with your immaturities. Jordan sings about a familiar young love, the complexities of growing up and the monotony of life, with a tone of hopelessness. Though Lindsey may sonically sound mature, throughout Lush she seems to struggle with her immaturities. But I think that’s what makes the project as likable as it is. This fight within her own maturity levels is something she discusses thoroughly in all of the tracks on Lush. And I think that is something that we can all relate to at some point in our lives: how grown up are we? Some parts of us may seem mature, but all of us are still struggling to become we what we define as grown up.
Lindsey transcribes all of our internal, nostalgic conflicts into ten tracks and just under forty minutes. Lindsey has a sound that strikes your nostalgia perfectly, singing with a voice that you seem to always remember. Even if you haven’t heard Snail Mail before, her music sounds oddly familiar. Not because it’s unoriginal, or that it’s done before, Lindsey just speaks of a feeling we’ve all gone through. Lush may seem childish, but it speaks to all of us in one way or another. Snail Mail has shown herself to be one of rocks best acts, and everyone’s excited to see what she and her guitar will play next.
Image courtesy of pitchfork.com