Snail Mail may not be new to you. The 18-year-old Baltimore artist has garnered support from Radio 1, Pigeons and Planes, Pitchfork and even The Guardian, but for that handful of you that haven’t had the delight of diving into Snail Mail’s formidable sound, take a deep breath – because this is something special.
Lindsey Jordan first caught ears back in 2016, with the release of debut EP, Habit. Her debut album, Lush, however, showcases an artist who has grown exponentially since that first EP. Her sound is now richer and the guitarwork more confident, while the lyrical fragility and candour that made her special still remains.
Recent single, ‘Heat Wave’ encapsulates everything brilliant about Snail Mail. The angst of her teenage years seeps through, with a story of endless days of being wasted, culminating in her admitting to have woken up “in my clothes thinking of you.” The guitar kicks in out of nowhere, fizzing like water on a hot pavement, while the song’s brilliant use of dynamics reveals a musician far more competent than her years let on.
Song: ‘Heat Wave’
Cagework always seems to be right on the edge of chaos. In all his songs, but especially on new cut ‘Simmer’, buzzing guitars clash with impassioned vocals, with his raw energy often revealing a beauty at its core, bringing him back from the brink of implosion. While ‘Simmer’ is a strong new offering, you may have heard him before on his recent split EP with Bristol’s Slonk. Cagework’s live show is equally enthralling, and the kind of thing you’ll want to catch in a tiny venue, where the passion behind every word spits itself into your ears and the guitar rumbles in your gut.
Despite being dreamt up somewhere between Bristol and Bath, Abstract Typography doesn’t sound like he comes from the South of England, or any part of the UK to be honest. Instead, like Tex from Partridge, Abstract Typography’s American obsession pulls lo-fi slacker rhythms together with razor-sharp garage riffs, holding you between both extremes. ‘I Feel Better Already’, from debut EP Dawn Chorus, exemplifies this, with jangling guitars suddenly cut to shreds by fuzzed-out riffs, all while Stan Bull’s rumbling vocal drawls beneath the surface. Combine this with an almost supernatural sense for a hook, and Abstract Typography’s effortless charm will reel you in during these suns-soaked summer months.
Song: ‘I feel Better Already’