As the 23-year-old supporting act, Hachiku began her set, she immediately established an intimate yet playful atmosphere for the evening, constructing dreamy bedroom-pop tunes by smoothly layering sounds from a drum pad, electric guitar, synthesiser, and vocals. The SWG3 Studio Warehouse was a fitting venue for the gig, and I was pleasantly surprised by the diverse age range of the crowd, evidence of Snail Mail’s critical acclaim and prominence that has resonated with so many music fans in such a short period of time.
Despite transforming into a four-piece ensemble for live performances, Snail Mail is the indie rock solo project of Maryland singer-songwriter Lindsay Jordan, who has been described as “the wisest teenage indie rocker we know” by Pitchfork, and a “prodigy” by Billboard.
Snail Mail captured our attention from the very first second, rolling into a lyricless, sprawling intro flooded with high-pitched squealing guitar effects, which then transitioned into the opening song, Heat Wave. One thing is for certain, Lindsay Jordan oozes authenticity and a sense of sincerity, and her captivating stage presence instantly draws you in, emanating an air of effortless cool. Jordan’s lyrics are hugely emotive and forthright, yet never verge on melodramatic or over sentimental. She invites the listener into the moment with her then swiftly pushes you along before you become too caught up in your feelings.
Unfortunately, the entirety of the gig was riddled with technical difficulties, and the band struggled profusely to hear themselves through their feedback monitors from start to finish. It was a frustration for everyone in the room, and at times bordered on distracting, as the musicians grew evidently more irritated throughout each song.
It was during the final three songs though, that Snail Mail proved just how supremely skilled and exceptional Lindsay Jordan and her solo project truly is. Unsurprisingly, when the warm, opening chords of ‘Pristine’ (one of Snail Mail’s most popular tracks) graced our ears, the crowd’s energy level spiked, and a unification between spectator and performer emerged for those precious few minutes. Singing along to every lyric, it felt like this was the crowd’s gesture of gratitude towards Jordan and her band, this being their first ever gig in Glasgow. Halfway through the penultimate song, ‘Deep Sea’, the frontwoman sunk her teeth into a sensational guitar solo, which sent many of us into a frenzy of applause.
Though the most rewarding moment of the night occurred during the final song, ‘Anytime’, when the band members exited the stage, leaving Lindsay Jordan front and centre, with only her guitar and vocals soaking up every corner of the Warehouse. The crowd fell quiet, absorbing every rising and falling melody and every breath, as the electrifying voice of Lindsay Jordan sent us on our way.
Snail Mail gave an honest, captivating performance, and their motivation to make the best of trying technical circumstances was a testament to the group’s work ethic and level of professionalism. This is a band with considerable musical maturity and their ‘rough around the edges’ approach to indie rock makes them an extremely exciting prospect. I am very much looking forward to wherever Snail Mail takes us next.