While a band name like Snail Mail implies a degree of slowness, nothing about Lindsey Jordan’s blossoming career has moved at a snail’s pace. The 19 year old frontwoman of the Baltimore-based rock group Snail Mail is only fresh out of high school, but has already released one buzz-worthy EP and dropped the band’s debut album, Lush, just earlier this month. The album has already received critical acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone Magazine and Pitchfork, with tastemakers quick to name the band as one of the most promising new prospects in independent rock.
I chatted with Lindsey in the days following Lush’s release to chart her feelings surrounding the album’s reception, the insatiable urge to keep creating, the future of the band, and more.
On playing the venues she grew up attending
“It’s amazing; that show was totally surreal. I almost forgot how big (historic bar and music venue in Washington D.C.) Black Cat was until I looked out into the crowd and it was totally packed. I’ve been going there since I was like 13, so it was really amazing. Everyone has been really supportive and nice, and the crowd was amazing.”
On her new album Lush‘s critical acclaim
“I kind of put the validation in the same boat as the mean stuff, in that I try to let it roll off so it doesn’t really effect my song writing or how I go about playing shows or anything in my life. Everything is a factor that brings me further away from where I started, which makes the songwriting process inorganic. I sorta try to keep it all in its own category and keep it away from how I do things. It is very sweet, and I love playing to sold our crowds; that’s been amazing. I’m really glad that people are connecting with it and its really great hearing people every night saying they can bring their own context to the record. Everyone seems to have a deep personal connection with it which is probably the most that I can ask for as a songwriter.”
On the differences between recording the Habit EP and Lush
“It was like night and day. I was able to choose the producer very carefully and choose where we were recording. We made demo versions of the record and a rough draft version of the record, and then spent awhile in upstate New York making the main full band tracks. We took huge amounts of time in the middle to sit with what we’ve done in each session. So we took a year and a half to wroite the songs and six months to make the record. Everything was super deliberate, and I had my hands all over everything and was there for every step of the mixing. I learned a ton about the recording process. We had so many more resources and it was just this huge prouction, while with “Habit” we were rcording in our friends basement studio and there wasn’t a lot of room to add in different instruments or lay down much more than I had already come into the studio with written. We made a lot of alterations in arrangements and there was a lot more space to add in third or fourth guitar tracks, so I was able to expand on what I came into the studio with. It was this big, huge productions and process, and it was incredible. Totally different than anything I’ve ever done.”
On where she sees Snail Mail headed next
I think that consideration has been in the back of my mind since I finished “Lush”, which was kinda forever ago. I’m having a really hard time not taking it a day at a time. I think the key to staying sane is just making sure evrything gets done everyday and allowing yourself to breathe and being forgiving with yourself. I feel like I have a lot of ideas and I’ve been writing only when I get that rush of inspiration, and not forcing myself since I’ve been so busy and stressed. It’s a lot to have to get everything done that I have to do today. I’m kinda waiting until everything dies down a little more to start really considering what’s next. I try to write a little bit every day, whether it poetry or journal entires or just little riffs or songs, just to make the songwriting process less daunting. I feel like lyrically I’ve really shifted with writing these new songs on LP 2. I feel like after talking so much about these experiences and other people I really want to focus more on myself. I’m sorta in the self-preservation zone and I’ve seen so much more and been to so many places and feel a lot more inspired by my constantly changing surroundings, than specific instances and how people have shaped my life, which I feel like is a lot of what Lush is. I feel a lot more focused on my own personal development and my new life in transit.”
On what she would be doing if she weren’t making music
“I have some dream of writing a book one day. That was kinda the direction I was headed in when I was planning on going to college. I’m a writer before I’m anything else. I also really love all the fashion stuff I’ve been able to do with this, so anything fashion related I’m down. I’d love to go further with that and do more with that world.”
Lush is out now on Matador Records.
What are your thoughts on Snail Mail’s new LP, if you’ve given it a spin? Which indie darling should I talk to next? Let me know in the comments!