Meet Snail Mail, the artist who captures teenagerhood in all its awkward splendour
When I call Lindsey Jordan, the 19-year-old singer and guitarist behind Baltimore-based indie rock project Snail Mail, she’s driving back home from a photoshoot in the city.
It’s her mom’s birthday and she’s on her way to a supermarket to buy flowers in between a hectic day of shoots, promo and tour prep ahead of the release of her debut album, Lush. “I’m home so little that sometimes just being in the neighbourhood I live in feels nostalgic. I have perfumes from middle school that I’ll spray around my room for no reason. I feel this rush, or a thrill, to return home, which can be a weird thing,” she tells me.
These same themes of nostalgia ring throughout Snail Mail’s music. When her debut EP Habit hit Bandcamp in the summer of 2016, its guitar pop encapsulated the essence of being a shit-kicking teenager, in all its awkward and vulnerable glory: the fun, the confusion, the heartbreak, the feeling of time being endless. What’s particularly special about Snail Mail, however, is how unembellished the music and lyrics really are – everything is laid out bare, demanding your attention, and, most importantly, your understanding.
Off the back of the cult success of Habit comes Lush – an astute collection of songs openly navigating the nature of being a teenage girl. Growing up is difficult for the best of us, and doing it in front of an audience can be just as powerful as it is confusing. “As I got towards writing the last songs on the record, I was in an emotionally difficult place,” Jordan says. “I was moving around a lot and having to make decisions and become mature in a short period of time in order to not crash and burn. The most important thing for me has been to keep [music] as an outlet and not something I feel like I have to do.”
In a way, it feels like we’re all watching Lindsey Jordan grow up in real time. What started off as a bedroom project has turned into a public safe space. With Lush, she’s taking us down her road of self-growth and self-discovery – from her wide-eyed, lovesick admissions, to her self-assured, razor-sharp declarations. Capturing early adulthood in all its messy splendour, Snail Mail is straightforward and disarming, kind of like the wall of feelings you’re hit with when you visit your hometown that you left for bigger things.
Sounds Like: Emotionally raw indie rock
Soundtrack For: Solo late-night drives
File Next To: Soccer Mommy / Frankie Cosmos
Where to Find Her: snailmailbaltimore.bandcamp.com