On November 2nd, Snail Mail played a free show at the Dr. Martens store in Georgetown. The event, which took place in a shoe-box shaped storefront, felt more expansive than the compact and crowded room would have seemingly allowed. This theme is strikingly similar to the band itself.
In the past year, the band has grown significantly, having toured with the likes of Beach Fossils, Best Coast, and Waxahatchee. In addition to touring, they've also made their festival rounds, playing in events like Hopscotch, Pitchfork, and Vulture. They even played an NPR Tiny Desk concert a few months back.
The three-piece band began as the musical project of guitarist/songwriter, Lindsey Jordan. They are somewhat local with roots in Ellicott City, Maryland, and a background in the DC/Baltimore post-punk scene, but have since relocated to Brooklyn. And they're fairly young too. I don't meant to focus on their young age, as it hardly factors into their music, but it is definitely notable that a group of musicians who were recently in high school are doing such a kickass job.
Since the release of their EP, Habit, in September of 2016, Snail Mail has become a bit of a house(show)-hold name in the music community. But it comes as no surprise. The rough and warm drawl of Jordan's voice, along with the inspired moments when she ventures into her higher register are familiar and comfortable.
Recorded, Jordan's deadpan sound like the raw musings of someone that is a little stuck in their own head. Live, you can see just how comfortable she is in front of a crowd. Her presence commands the room and is empowering to say the least.
The set was short and sweet, but it gave the audience more of a connection to the emotional breadth of Jordan's songs, as well as the talent of all three Snail Mailers. Getting to see the band live definitely makes a big difference and shows you that they are worthy of their successes (and the complimentary Dr. Martens on their feet).
Having been picked up by Matador Records, Snail Mail is expected to release their first album in 2018. According to an interview on Bandcamp Daily, Jordan is looking to change up the sound a bit. Wanting to step out of the schema of 90s nostalgia indie rockers, the follow up will be more expansive. The album will feature more complex instrumentation and will hopefully highlight more of Jordan's musicianship. I, for one, cannot wait.
The band's next local performance will be December 30th at Black Cat. with Ex Hex. They'll also be embarking on a headlining tour next month with Lomelda, which would be worth checking out if you can make it out to Brooklyn or Philly.