When singer-songwriter Lindsey Erin Jordan, aka Snail Mail, released her first EP back in 2016 – the sad-girl indie genre was beginning to emerge from what was a previously male-dominated genre. Fast-forward to 2021 and it’s inescapable.
The lead single, and title track of her forthcoming sophomore album, ‘Valentine,’ initially seems a more muted affair than what we are used to – we see Jordan trading guitar strums for a minimal synth sound. Gradually, the guitars creep in, and ‘Valentine’ finds itself back in the familiar waters of good old indie-rock.
The chorus is bursting with power chords and angsty vocals, and is guaranteed to sound great live. Snail Mail flips between the new and the old throughout the track, displaying her mastery of both styles, but some kind of cohesion between the two is missing.
After the chorus, ‘Valentine’ jolts back into a slower register, dropping all but the least-intrusive drumming. The to-ing and fro-ing doesn’t seem to make that much sense, leaving us with a kind of sonic vertigo that isn’t wholly satisfying.
Snail Mail resists being a cliche, but at points feels like it has come at the expense of a cohesive sound. ‘Valentine’ hints at a new era for Snail Mail, but still clings on to her tried and tested sad-girl sound.
The album Valentine will arrive on November 5th, with a short UK tour arriving in February 2022.
Words by Martha Storey
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