What’s new: Snail Mail, “Lush”

by Jon E. Lynch

While considering what upcoming albums to review, I have a couple different approaches and methods for parsing and narrowing down what often seems overwhelming, based on the sheer volume of new music that’s put out. First and foremost, I get serious satisfaction out of calling up any number of my favorite brick and mortar record stores to talk – yes, actually SPEAK – with other humans about what releases THEY are excited about. Record store owners, and the clerks they employ, are veritable, metaphorical, gold mines. It’s the exact type of person who can talk for days on end about the very subject. This is my preferred method. My second, and sometimes less reliable, method is perusing a handful of websites for the info. I say less reliable because release dates are often moved up or moved back with little to no notice.

That brings me to this week’s release. I honestly thought “Lush,” the Matador debut from Lindsey Jordan, also known as Snail Mail, had been out for WEEKS. When I’m looking forward to an album release, I avoid advance press and singles at all costs. I assumed, given the sheer volume of both, that the album had been released, and that I’d get to it when I had the time to get to it. Turns out I was wrong, and I consulted the aforementioned channels to confirm.

Jordan, joined on the record with touring bandmates Alex Bass (bass) and Ray Brown (drums), recorded with producer and engineer Jake Aron (Yeasayer, Grizzly Bear, tUnE-yArDs, etc). The album speaks to its namesake, fully realizing the lo-fi indie dream pop in a wonderful, proper debut. Jordan has been playing guitar since she was 5 years old, but you can truly hear on the album the influence her teacher (the great Mary Timony of Helium, Ex Hex, Wild Flag and more) imparted, as a full-on shredder. While there are certainly nods to the fem-influences of the (and her) past, Lush holds as a more-than-solid label debut of heartfelt and honest indie rock, no gender labels required.

“Lush” is available Friday, June 7, via Matador Records on compact disc and on vinyl in a standard black vinyl colorway. Limited edition bundles pair the album with a t-shirt inspired by the album artwork. Vinyl versions come with the requisite digital download, presumably on your choice of various high quality formats (320K MP3, FLAC, or ALAC).

Recommended for fans of independent heavyweights Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield, and Aimee Mann, one time tour companions Girlpool and Waxahatchee, and indie contemporaries such as Jay Som, Frankie Cosmos, (Sandy) Alex G, and Tacocat.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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