Snail Mail: Lush (Matador)

Highly accomplished debut set from US indie pop outfit

Released Jun 8th, 2018 via Matador / By Emilie Kneifel
Snail Mail: Lush (Matador)June’s glowing red,” as red as Snail Mail’s June debut album, Lush. On its cover, Lindsey Jordan’s face is raw with the same red as her backdrop, lit with light that makes her more than blush. She’s bright with what a blush is meant to convey: fresh-faced honesty, with which she overflows.

Jordan’s guitar burns slowly, sobbing with smart emotion, supporting her constant questions. She asks small sharpnesses -- “Who do you change for?” -- and hurls heftier blows, such as “Did things work out for you?/ Or are you still not sure what that means?” a question which looms over any head with unharnessed enthusiasm. One gets the sense that Jordan isn’t into the rhetorical; she waits, clear-eyed, for a reply. “It just feels like/ The same party every weekend/ Doesn't it? Doesn't it?” she prods.

On Pristine, she lets love stifle her insistence, singing, “You'll never change to me, 'cause I'm not looking,” adding a shifty “anyways,” carefully glancing off of what she knows is too fragile for her gaze. She clings to the frailty in spite of herself, lets herself drift in adolescent forever, which is both so brief and also never ending. She avows, "I know myself and I’ll never love anyone else.

Still, her questions catch up. She knows she “should know better than to wait around;” she’s “not into sometimes.” Jordan is consumed, and she’s met with slippery ambivalence. So she lets go, or tries to. “I hope the love that you find/ Swallows you wholly/ Like you said it might,” she sings on Heat Wave.

One thing she doesn’t have to grasp at, what she always inherently knows, is this growl: “I'm in full control/ I'm not lost/ Even when it's love/ Even when it's not.” Her blazing face illuminates truth, leads her on her own red road. And as she drifts off, Lush will have its own forever. They may be fleeting feelings, but these lyrics loiter. These longings echo. They last.