Listening to songwriters who are literally half your age, it’s all too easy to be dismissive. Once you cross a certain age threshold, a crankiness can set in. Identification turns into incredulousness: who is this kid who has barely lived yet, trying to tell me about the joys and pains of the world? Pathos becomes whining. Discovery sounds naive. It can be a very difficult obstacle for a listener in their progressed years to overcome.
What helps circumvent this problem is when a young singer/songwriter is truly talented enough to sound wise beyond their years. It takes a certain something (and I don’t know what it really is) to make heartbreak, the oldest trope in music, sound fresh again. And whatever that is, Snail Mail’s Lindsey Jordan has got it. There is ostensibly nothing new about her approach to indie rock. Through her lyricism, attitude, and ear for melody, Jordan transcends the commonplace. Her debut record Lush is one of the best “indie rock” albums of recent memory. You can listen to single “Heat Wave” below to get some idea (as well as the rest of the album which you can get from Matador.
More often than not I use the term “indie rock” as a derogatory descriptor, so the fact that she’s even able to convert a codgy old crank like myself shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Snail Mail will perform this Sunday night at the 7th St. Entry (tix available here).