HABIT BY SNAIL MAIL ALBUM REVIEW
When it comes to summer music I’m as content as the next person with upbeat and catchy tunes that border somewhere between pop, indie, and surf rock. However, Habit, by Snail Mail, has a resilience and individual aspect in it’s sound that conveys a more honest, reflective spent summer.
Snail Mail is a trio from Baltimore, fronted by Lindsey Jordan, guitar/vocals, with Shawn Durham on drums (live is Ray Brown), and Ryan Vieira on bass (live is Alex Bass). Habit is their first album, preceded by their ep, Sticki, released last spring.
The album is comprised of six songs, each minimalistic in title but dynamic in sound, as each one focuses on the concept of reflection (particularly regarding one’s personal sadness). As a whole, the album creates a sense of growth and recollection over one’s own emotions, a recognition of youthful struggles that can sometimes seem meaningless but feel heart aching in the moment.
Not to mention, Jordan’s unique voice does well in emphasizing the lyrics’ emotion. At first listen, her voice could be considered nothing much, but it holds a raw power to it, especially in songs where there’s an accumulation of subtle breaks in her voice at the end of phrases. A prime example being “Static Buzz,” in which Jordan belts at the end “Shutters on my house/Keep the sunlight in/If that’s not enough to keep the people out/Then I don’t wanna know what’s on the other side,” where the crescendo comes subtly and then hits all at once.
There’s also a playful nuance to the album’s instrumental aspect, which can be hard to hear because everything sounds so well connected, creating an impressive fluidity from song to song.
A standout track on the album to me is “Stick,” as it feels like a musical embodiment of that moment when a relationship, or a hopeful relationship, doesn’t work out and you’re slowly piecing yourself back together and trying to find closure. Overall, this song is a powerhouse, from thoughtful lyrics like “And did things work out for you?/Or are you still not sure what the means?” to its steady, hypnotizing tempo.
On Snail Mail’s bandcamp page, their tags include “indie,” “lo-fi,” and “pop” and each one feels fitting given the band’s indefinable, interchangeable, and individual sound.
written by LYDIA VELAZQUEZ