Snail Mail’s (Lindsey Jordan) much anticipated new album Valentine was released November 5th, 2021 via Matador. Written and produced by Jordan, and co-produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver), every beat and lyric vibrates with an authenticity that can only come from someone as immersed in their work as Jordan. There isn’t a second on this whole album that hasn’t been polished with the grit formed by a breakdown of the heart’s sloppy chaos.
The title track and single, Valentine balances soft sounds with a rocky atmosphere to create an image of someone in a desperate tug-of-war with their lover’s memory, struggling to climb to the forefront of it. Jordan draws out the lyrics “so why’d you wanna erase me, darling valentine?” bringing up those universal feelings of loss and leftover love, thus connecting all of us with each note. Valentine is the willingness to disappear into infatuation entirely.
Track 6, Madonna, has a beachy vibe with sunny strings and joyful drumming. The lyrics reflect something different. Jordan shares an insight stating “in summation, it’s about why love can’t exist between a person and a concept of a person. Remove the pedestal and you might realize there was never anything there at all,” offering a jolt back to a less romantic reality.
Track 8, Glory, leans on shoegaze while Jordan uses her brilliant voice to hold up the sophisticated instrumental quality of the song. They’re perfectly intertwined, just like lovers are meant to be.
In Valentine, Jordan has crafted a story of heartbreak, with a dramatic rise and fall played out by a remarkable voice and vulnerable lyrics. We should consider ourselves lucky to have Snail Mail walk us through a red-hot pain with this much grace.