Snail Mail
Habit


3.5
great

Review

by BlushfulHippocrene CONTRIBUTOR (23 Reviews)
February 27th, 2018 | 58 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Echoing through bedroom walls

Early last year, Pitchfork’s Jenn Pelly dubbed Lindsey Jordan “Wisest Teenage Indie Rocker” that the publication knew. 17 at the time, the Snail Mail frontwoman had been taking time off school to promote and tour the Baltimore trio’s Habit EP. (A hiatus which, to be fair, mightn’t have been the worst idea, as the band grew in both sound and status.) In her interview, Jordan spoke pensively and with great confidence on broad themes of confusion and loss, crises of identity inextricable from the realities of growing up – ones since resolved for the songwriter herself, though which are thoughtfully recreated on the band's sophomore release. Whether or not the “wisest” label rings true, however – and I don’t mean to discredit the article, nor its accompanying interview (in truth, both fantastic pieces) – it strikes me as one given with little thought. That, in its haste, overlooks the potential ubiquity of Lindsey’s youthful ramblings.

In tone, Habit resembles more a question than answer. While opener ‘Thinning’ introduces something altogether dancier in sound than what is present on the remainder of the EP, its lyrics evoke images of loss and being lost. At one point, Jordan begs of herself, “Is this who you are"” An adolescent quandary indeed (in delivery only, not sentiment), though it nevertheless highlights what is one of the band’s greatest strengths: an ability to traverse common threads of mid-day malaise and suburban ennui with an at once pensive, youthful swagger. The music, as a result, sounds as contemplative as it does lethargic, smouldering what is typical indie rock fanfare under a layer of shoegaze influence and subtle, though unwitting pop sensibility. A simple but effective setup of guitars and drums lays lazy foundation for Jordan’s juvenile wails, undoubtedly the project’s centrepiece. Then again, to describe them as such do the vocals little justice: more than she wails, Jordan seems to throw her voice about. Think Frances Quinlan with less a sense of control, perhaps less of a care – a jubilance that, more than it undercuts the record's immersion, makes it all the more charming, emboldening an attractive sprightliness made human via no less a sense of confusion and yearning.

Perhaps I am being a tad harsh on the article. I do think that Habit shows a remarkable amount of restraint for all its naivety – a naivety that I think is showcased with a certain level of intentionality, one for the sake of ubiquity and communal catharsis. More than any wisdom, it’s a pointed lack of certainty that makes Habit as engaging as it is. Snail Mail make music to fall asleep at the wheel to – to reaffirm one’s life to – through daydreams and isolation. While its melodies sound far from slaved over, they succeed as a result of their pacing, as though they've been pieced together during a drive home from work. They’re far from meticulous, but they don’t need to be. They are, in a word, thoughtful.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2018


8777 Comments


Great review bud : ]

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2018


2526 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks! Wrote this quite some time ago, but the EP needed something.

(Stream: https://snailmailbaltimore.bandcamp.com/album/habit)

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2018


8598 Comments


I only heard Thinning and it'd a great tune, has a genuine 90's tone to it somehow.. lovely review, Blush, will listen to the rest

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Cormano
February 27th 2018


1282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn, I was actually planning on reviewing this next couple of days, sweet fuckin review



Thinning is hands down one of the best songs I've ever heard, it definetely hit me like few do the first time I heard it and I've been in love since, can't wait for their full lenght, this band is about to blow up

tom79
February 27th 2018


3645 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't even know how I stumbled upon this a few months ago but it's a nice little EP. First song hooked me. Nice review as well.

Digging: The Dirty Nil - Master Volume

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2018


2526 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Much love, all. Hope to still see some thoughts from you Cormano! As much as I love Thinning, I think I prefer songs like Static Buzz and Slug a tad more, just because the vocal melodies sound a bit more "careful" I suppose - they're a bit less energetic, but more thoughtful as a result.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2018


23616 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wait...how the hell did I miss this review??

Cormano
March 6th 2018


1282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@blush

yeah I'll prob still do it, and then might review their upcoming lp as well



interesting inclusion of that article I must add, I've read another couple interviews were Lindsey admits not really connecting with these same emotions the way she did back when she wrote them, she was 15, Habit is def the sound of youthful exuberance



static buzz and slug are my other favorites to, but there isn't something about Thinning I can't quite put my finger on, it's just so immediate and straight forward without ever being simple or mundane, band sounds thight throughout, and I'm just a sucker for Lindsay's voice

Beautiful
March 6th 2018


417 Comments


snail mail!?

isn't that the qtest of names

Aberf
May 21st 2018


2356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

how did I miss this review at all???

Digging: Kinoko Teikoku - Time Lapse

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


23616 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hype for the new album

FreddieDelaney31
June 7th 2018


4605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

New album is so damn incredible

Digging: Brockhampton - Iridescence

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


2526 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed. Better than this even.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


23616 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

v good sign...

FreddieDelaney31
June 7th 2018


4605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Much better than this

Her lyrics are so phenomenal too

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


23616 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

whered u listen Freddie??

Atari
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2018


23740 Comments


the new tracks bored me on first listen but guess I should give it a go!

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FreddieDelaney31
June 7th 2018


4605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There's a HQ leak

Cormano
June 7th 2018


1282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lmao why do people on sputnik always listen to leaks, this is prob my most anticipated release and I'm still waiting for the official stream

Lucid
June 8th 2018


9988 Comments


8.7 by the Fork? Don't see how the new one is more impressive than Mitski, Soccer Mommy, Japanese Breakfast etc.



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