Nearly every band mentions how much they love the city they’re visiting. Returning to the city she wishes she could love, Lindsey Jordan professes she just couldn’t after two months of living here. Jordan boldly shared this sentiment with Brooklyn as she performed for the sold out crowd. Primarily playing tracks from their recently reissued EP, Habit, Snail Mail were also headlining for the first time in Brooklyn.
During a performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Series, Lindsey Jordan, joked that it was stranger to hear what the band actually sounded like live. It’s not that Snail Mail is so loud and distorted that you can’t hear anything, rather the juxtaposition between dream-pop shouts and mumbles, twangy and fuzzed out guitars, provide a lo-fi veil for the cutting and confessional lyrics of Jordan making you really listen to her heart rendering sentiments.
On stage, there’s nowhere to hide as the audience stares and sings along about confusion, self-awareness and youth. Jones takes the sometimes sleepy malaise of the tracks from Habit and punctuates clarity and meaning into lyrics like, “Baby when I’m 30 I’ll laugh about how dumb it felt/Baby when I’m 30 I’ll laugh it out,” she sings on “Dirt.” The moments of raw vulnerability on crescendoing chants of “I don’t think there’s anything wrong/I don’t think there’s anything wrong” on “Thinning” express obvious insecurity, but build to a confident declaration.
One of the best aspects of the set was the blending between the deep toms of drummer, Ray Brown, and Jordan’s shimmering guitar. Perhaps from the influence of seminal alt rock bands like Sonic Youth, the range of pitch is so dissonant, that it’s hard believe they’re as hypnotic as they are. That draw combined with the melancholy of Jordan’s lyrics continuously pull you further in.
Snail Mail feel like the model for a ‘cool’ band and watching them perform is to watch them become even cooler. It makes you feel like you want to be in a band, mainly, their band, and shout all of the things that they’re shouting about.
After the set finishes, you’ll realize that Snail Mail is the band that you wished you were in when you were in high school playing to a room full of strangers that get exactly what you’re singing about, even though you’re still figuring it out.