“Let’s go be alone, where no one can see us, honey.” Right away, Lindsey Jordan, under the name Snail Mail, invites listeners to her vulnerable tale of heartbreak, love, and rehab on her new album “Valentine.”
A departure from her debut album “Lush,” Jordan moves from unrequited love onto love that’s been had and then lost. Not only can listeners see Jordan’s maturity through the lyrical focus of “Valentine,” but Jordan shows a maturity in sound as well. In comparison to the stripped down guitar and solo voice that made Snail Mail known in the indie-rock sphere, Jordan impresses listeners with a range on “Valentine” that we haven’t seen before. A strong voice blaring, “Why’d you want to erase me, darling Valentine?” is coupled with powerful instrumentals from Jordan’s bandmates, bassist Alex Bass and the drummer Ray Brown.
If there’s one thing Snail Mail is good at, it’s lyricizing feelings that feel uniquely personal to an individual, but are really entirely common. In her haunting ballad “Light Blue,” Jordan tells her love, “I wanna wake up early everyday just to be awake in the same world as you.” With this line, she captures the rejuvenating feeling of falling in love that sets up the desperate, destructive break up songs we see later in the track.
Jordan’s EP perfectly captures her unique talent as a lyricist. In the third single off the LP, “Madonna,” she draws heavily from religion to describe her love for her former lover: “My second sin of seven being wanting more.” Jordan is able to show her selfish but devout love and desire for this person by drawing a direct correlation to religion in her ballad. With just eight words, she is able to punch listeners with the vulnerability that comes with the desire to be loved.
“Valentine” is a clear representation of Jordan’s progression through heartbreak. While she starts off asking her lost love why they broke up, she later tells her in the track “Automate,” “I pretend it’s you / But she kissed like she meant it.” The searing anger purses through listeners’ ears while simultaneously capturing the feelings associated with wanting someone who might never have wanted you.
The final track, “Mia,” ends the LP with something long-time listeners haven’t seen from Jordan yet: a full orchestra, which I hope is just a taste of what’s to come from Jordan. “Lost love, so strange,” Jordan reminds her listeners in the chorus. A verbalization of the feeling of love that has disappeared, “Mia” focuses on the uber-specific feeling of waking up the day after a break-up and realizing that everything is different, and your person isn’t there anymore.