Album Review: Snail Mail-Lush

We are aware that Lush by indie musician, Snail Mail (Lindsey Jordan) has been receiving tons of publicity and great reviews (80 score on Metacritic). Sometimes the hype around an album and performer is justified, and we felt it was worth it to bring this album to your attention.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Snail Mail
RIYL: Liz Phair, Courtney Barnett, Vagabon, Soccer Mommy, Lily Allen
Pseudo Genre: Emo indie pop

1. Despite being only 19 (she was 18 when the album came out), this is Lindsey Jordan’s is not brand new to the music scene. She made a big splash at SXSW 2017 and has had a NY Times Profile story written about her. This album demonstrates a maturity and skill set well beyond her chronological years. It is clearly influenced by Mary Timony (From bands Ex Hex, Wild Flag, Helium, etc) from whom Lindsey used to take music lessons.

2. The songs definitely focus on the theme of young relationships and the innocence of youth. These lyrics help to demonstrate:

--From “Pristine”: “Don’t you like me for me?/Is there any better feeling than coming clean?/And I know myself and I’ll never love anyone else.”
--On “Heat Wave” she discusses one night stands, and wanting it all to end (a theme borrowed directly from her idol, Liz Phair’s “Fuck and Run”: “I’m so tired of moving on/Spending every weekend so far gone/Heat wave, nothing to do/Woke up in my clothes having dreamt of you”
--Lindsey touches on a Summer romance in “Let’s Find an Out”, a song that she has stated is her favorite from the album: ‪”June's glowing red/Oh strawberry moon/You're always coming back a little older/But it looks alright on you”

3. It is her interesting guitar play and powerful, yet restrained vocals, that combine to create such an enjoyable album.

4. This album is a great escape from the issues of the world and though it is in many ways simplistic, it is easy to become lost in the music. We have spent a few days floating in pool with Lush on repeat.

5. We certainly hope that this album is just the start of great things to come. Snail Mail has the potential to grow and mature, which ironic considering the band’s namesake is nearly completely replaced by email.

Here you can listen to “Pristine” with a lyric video followed by the official video for “Heat Wave”.

Album Review: Quiet Slang-Everything Matters But No one is Listening

Quiet Slang.jpg

Everything Matters But No One is Listening is an album of reworked Philly punk band Beach Slang songs performed by lead singer, James Alex under the name Quiet Slang.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Quiet Slang
RIYL: When Punk Bands play a ballad
Pseudo Genre: Chamber Punk

1. The original idea for this album started from an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Alex gained further inspiration from Stephin Merrit’s lyric: “Why do we Keep shrieking/ When we mean soft things?” from the song “100,000 Fireflies” by Magnetic Fields. Talking to fans, Alex realized there was an audience for a solo album driven more by lyrics than music.

2. The album is a reworking of punk songs. They are performed with a cello and piano as the only accompaniment.

3. If you love some great cello playing with emotional lyrics, and we at SWB sure do, then this is the album for you.

4. Some of our favorite Lyrics:
from “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas”: “I've always felt stuck, alone, or ashamed/The gutter's too tough, the stars are too safe/ I'm always that kid always out of place”
From “Future Mixtape for Art Kids”: “We're not lost, we are dying in style/ We're not fucked, we are fucking alive”
and From “Warpaint”: "Splatter warpaint on your cheek/ Bear your heart without apology/ Hang your anger, cut it loose/ Make this stick: I won’t give up on you”

5. Sometimes our favorite albums are groundbreaking and revolutionary. Sometimes our favorite albums are just beautiful and entertaining. This is one of those albums

Here you can listen to “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” by Quiet Slang followed by “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” by Beach Slang.

Album Review: Iceage- Beyondless

Here is a review of our current favorite album, Beyondless by Iceage.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Iceage
RIYL: Old Artic Monkeys, LIFE, The Clash
Pseudo Genre: Punky Post Punk

1. It’s like Morrissey, King Krule and The Clash had a love child.
2. Ten years on, this Danish punk band is continuing to evolve and grow, which is not surprising given that none of the band is even 27 years old.
3. Iceage brings in pop stylings, utilizing horns and Sky Ferreira’s backing vocals on “Pain Killer”. Iceage does NOT make pop punk. Think The Birthday Party or The Clash not Green Day or Blink-182
4. Some of our favorite lyrics: from “The Day the Music Dies”: “Performed an exorcism on myself, Cited prayers and rites of deliverance, Yet here I am, somehow still possessed”
From “Thieves like Us”: “In echo chambers of fermented ethanol, Listen to reason as I voice my speculations, With the brains of a blowup doll”
and From “Pain Killer”: "Most when it's almost like a bane, You arrive like a siren refrain, Like death she takes everything, And dazes me like patent medicine”
5. This is another great album from a band that continues to experiment and grow with each album.

Here are some videos of songs from the album.

Album Review: L.A. Salami: The City of Bootmakers

L.A. salami does not have anything to do with a Southern California city or luncheon meats, but has everything to do with creating avant garde, genre bending 21st century Folk music...The album is of NOW, and tackles subjects such as gentrification ("Brick Lane"), radical Islam ("Terrorism (The ISIS Crisis)"),  the problems facing England with Brexit and great divisions ("England Is Unwell"), and the meaning of life ("Science+Buddhism= A Reality You Can Know")...Some great lyrics include: "and the cash flows from all the wealthy come in, Who seem not to like the scene that led them on, and the scene is gone" from "Brick Lane" and "I'm penniless, but I've sold my soul, I'm restless, but I've nowhere to go" from "Generation L(ost)...Lookman Adekunle Salami sings with the restrained energy and emotion of a hand grenade explosion being channeled through a drinking straw...Tackling important subjects would be a waste of time if his music was not catching and enjoyable. 

The album will be out and streaming everywhere on Friday 4/13. Here are a couple of the songs that we really like off of the new album (also "Terrorism (The ISIS Crisis)" is on last Friday's playlist).