Snail Mail – “Valentine”

It’s unusual to hear pop songs rolled out as rock songs these days, where real guitars rip into the chorus instead of synths and loops. Snail Mail is an intriguing prospect. They sound like the finished product, a nice shiny rock/pop outfit that could go global. They clearly have an ear for hooky structure and melody, which is why this latest release, “Valentine”, is getting so much attention. Sonically they touch on Fiona Apple, Liz Phair, and Cat Power, but they have enough of a character to step away from pastiche into blue sky originality. The main creative force of the band is musical prodigy Lindsey Jordan, who became an indie rock phenom after she released her debut album, Lush, at 18. But she was burnt by fame and spent time at a recovery facility. It was during her confinement that she charted out arrangements for what would become her second album, Valentine. Perhaps the most striking aspect of this new release is her voice. It is soft and confessional in the verse, but in the choruses, it morphs into a hoarse growl that rips your heart out.

WARNING: The video contains graphic scenes of violence and deals with adult

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