Snail Mail – ‘Valentine’

Snail Mail make misery sound wonderful and welcoming on their second album, Valentine

Snail Mail - Valentine Review - The Daily Music Report
Snail Mail image credit via: Matthew Salacuse for NME

Snail Mail’s sophomore effort offers a blend of indie, rock, and folk that is a marvel to listen to.

Produced by: Lindsey Jordan and Brad Cook

With the release of Lush, Snail Mail’s debut album in 2018, Lindsey Jordan was instantly thrown into the spotlight after songs like ‘Pristine’ and ‘Heat Wave’ exposed her as a lyrical and musical talent deserving of the airtime. Now with Valentine, Snail Mail has turned that solo effort into a trio featuring bassist Alex Bass and drummer Ray Brown. But don’t let that confuse you. Ms. Jordan is in full control. According to Ms. Jordan, Valentine came “on the heels of life-altering success, a painful breakup, and 6 weeks in treatment.” And it shows. The album is wrought with themes of heartbreak and melancholy. It even goes so far as discussing her stint in rehab on the second verse of ‘Ben Franklin.’

Snail Mail’s sophomore effort offers a blend of indie, rock, and folk that is a marvel to listen to. In it, Snail Mail claims misery as their mythological siren. And make no mistake, Lindsey and company will pull you in. It’s quite something to behold. Valentine is an outpouring of emotion that only Ms. Jordan could wear so proudly on her sleeve. And what the album lacks in running time, it more than makes up for in content. Ms. Jordan explained in a recent press statement, “I wanted to take as much time as possible with this record to make sure I was happy with every detail before unleashing it unto y’all,” she said. “Referring to the process as the deepest level of catharsis and therapy I have ever experienced would be a huge understatement. Valentine is my child!”

Some of the best moments come when you hear the vulnerability in her voice. Take for instance ‘c. et al.’ It’s the most stripped-down track on the album. The track showcases Ms. Jordan’s sparse vocals over an acoustic guitar. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but it’s elegant and genuine. Two traits you don’t always hear in today’s music.

Valentine should be your companion when all is lost. It’ll help you realize that you’re not the only one going through heartache and painful times. Ms. Jordan and company will serenade you with brutal honesty while making misery sound wonderful and welcoming. If you haven’t heard of Snail Mail yet, you will. Valentine should push the band further into the spotlight and into the mainstream music scene.

Valentine is out today, November 5 via Matador.


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