Snail Mail's Valentine
Released under her pseudonym, Snail Mail, on November 5, Lindsey Jordan’s sophomore record Valentine is as sweet and sour as the title suggests. Interlaced with themes of heartbreak, addiction, and obsession, Valentine is a sophisticated step up from Jordan’s 2018 debut Lush. The introspection at the heart of Valentine deepens the exploration of queer identity and adulthood that Jordan began in Lush, as a result of being crafted mostly during COVID-19 quarantine in her Maryland childhood bedroom. On our eighth successive listen of the album, Valentine continues to surprise us with new details.
The thirty-two minute record masterfully juxtaposes upbeat instrumentation with sorrowful lyrics. In the opening title track, the chorus’s composition is hopeful, but it backs the heartbroken cry “So why’d you wanna erase me, darling Valentine?” Jordan's immense instrumental talent continues to stand out on the remainder of Valentine. In “c. et al.,” her intricate guitar plucking forms the complex backdrop for an exploration of the damaging effects of stardom. Diverging from despair, Valentine takes a turn towards optimism in “Light Blue,” a simpler love song that features Jordan’s airy vocals and cozy acoustic guitar. Special shoutouts go to the catholic imagery on “Madonna,” the waltz inspired time signature on “Automate,” and the slowed-down sample from Madleen Kane on “Forever (Sailing).” Run, don’t walk, to your nearest music streaming app to give Valentine a listen or eight. It deserves it.
Photo Credit by Matador
Rimerman is an Executive Editor and a Senior in the College studying Math
Cooney is the Spotlight Editor and a Senior in the SFS studying Culture and Politics.