Meet Lindsey Jordan, the mastermind between up-and-coming Baltimore lo-fi trio Snail Mail. Snail Mail have been favorites of the Baltimore/DC music scene for a while now, with Lindsey balancing high school (!) with tons of shows in the American Northeast. She’s something of a punk Hannah Montana (student by day, helping sell out club shows by night) at this point, and Snail Mail’s live shows are really, really spectacular. Literally, I’ve seen grown men in the crowd be brought to tears by Lindsey’s set.
Lindsey and her band are currently on tour with post-punkers Priests, and have been racking up tons of buzz within the past few weeks (check out this Pitchfork “Best New Track” write-up from a few days ago). While the recordings of “Habit” EP are perfect for moody suburban afternoons, the live shows are something else altogether. Clever riffs, fiery vocals, and a wickedly intense stage presence make Lindsey Jordan live a force to be reckoned with. Better yet, she is unapologetic about her beliefs, her sexuality, and her passion for making music. Modern Girls cannot wait for everything on the radar for Snail Mail, so we took the time to ask Lindsey about her music, her guilty pleasures, and what it’s like being a Gemini.
Name: : Lindsey Erin Jordan
City: Baltimore (Ellicott City, tbh)
Sign: Gemini sun, Scorpio rising, Leo moon
Occupation: CEO at Snail Mail
Growing up, what musicians sparked your interest in music? Who were your favorite bands growing up?
I can confidently say the artist who sparked my interest in music was Avril Lavigne (“I’m With You” is still the best song ever written) because she was an alt-rocker and sort of tomboy, which is what I always wanted to be when I was little (and she played a guitar). I also really loved The Click Five and Hillary Duff. In middle school, I started taking a lot of interest in punk, so I was really into Sleater Kinney and Bratmobile, as well as indie bands with thorough songwriting like Beach House and Sharon Van Etten (two faves that will always be faves). I also took a lot of interest in St. Vincent because she was a classically trained guitarist, which is the background I come from, and she was sort of the first artist I saw myself in that I wanted to strive to be like.
How has it been balancing the commitments of a high school student with the commitments of Snail Mail? Where have you had to compromise?
There is certainly a lot of give and take involved! I have a pretty good relationship with my teachers, so this year I’ve been able to travel a lot without many issues. At the same time, I pretty much have no idea what’s going on in any of my classes whenever I get back, so I recognize that I’m not working to my fullest potential (but also it’s senior year so I’m yolo-ing). We’ve definitely had to turn down some really dank shows because of missing too much school consecutively, but for the most part, it’s been really great being in high school and touring.
How do you see Snail Mail evolving after you graduate?
We have pretty big plans for our next full length, which is in the works (shhhh). Probably will not be attending college next year, so that I can tour as much as possible. V scary and exciting!
Is there anything you can (legally) share about what is coming next for Snail Mail?
The next album is going to be way more honest lyrically. 2016 was a really romantic year for me, so you can kind-of tell which songs reflect that and which don’t. Habit was super romantic and openly gay, too, but it was a little more hidden and secret. You’ll be able to hear what I’m talking about loudly and clearly with the new release. The songs are recognizably more dynamic and mature, but I think they stay pretty true to what we’ve already put out. If you haven’t seen us in your city with this release, you probably will with the next one.
How do you cope with Gemini stigma?
I’m obsessed with this question! I think I’m a pretty big Gemini stereotype in that I’m an extrovert bitch that likes to be on stage, so I like to embrace my haters. I don’t personally identify as being two-faced, but I can see where the stigma comes from, you know?
What Hogwarts house are you?
I always used to consider myself to be a Ravenclaw while growing up, but because of Pottermore, the “sorting cupcake” I ate at The Cursed Child book release, and my new hair color – as well as newly attained experience in life – I’m starting to identify as a Slytherin. Is that giving myself too much credit?
Dream concert lineup?
Assuming this is a four band show: I’d be really into seeing Slowdive, Psychic TV, Broadcast (if we can bring bands back?), and Grouper together. I think that would be like the ultimate LinZJordan4 production.
Current music faves?
I really like the new Weyes Blood record! Her songs are super beautiful and inspirational. I saw her play at Ottobar and was floored. Big Thief also gets a lot of speaker time in the Snail Mail van, along with some faves Long Beard, Half Waif, and Plush.
As far as bands that are not as new… I really love Sheryl Crow, Nervosas, Mazzy Star, Helium, Electrelane, The Cure (obvi), X, Beat Happening, The Replacements, Chapterhouse, Cocteau Twins, MBV, Liz Phair, Neil Young, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, and so many more that I’m not thinking of right now!
Current guilty pleasure music faves?
Sometimes when I’m alone in my car I turn on “Closer” by the Chainsmokers and just, like, turn the volume all the way up. I also will always dig Taylor Swift’s discography. I don’t know if that counts as a guilty pleasure because her songs are soooo undeniably good. Also, I watch Take Me Home once a month (not exaggerating) and wear my friend’s 1D tour shirt (that I’m never giving back) almost every night to bed.
What does being a “modern girl” mean to you?
I think being a modern girl entails being unapologetically opinionated and genuine in our interests. I think the world likes to shame girls for liking what they like and showing genuine passion and interest, and it’s our job to be the most honest versions of ourselves that we can be for our own benefit. Be a fan girl, have a diary, write songs about whatever you want, be shy, be loud, get a Harry Styles tattoo – or don’t! It’s not lame to be comfortable with yourself 🙂
Habit is available for digital download on Bandcamp and on cassette through Sister Polygon Records
Check out upcoming Snail Mail dates on Bandsintown / keep up with Lindsey on instagram and twitter