Snail Mail is expressive indie rock at its finest. Frontwoman Lindsey Jordan uses a somber singing voice and subtle rhythmic instrumentation to create soft and often emotional songs that are as head-bop-worthy as they are heartbreaking. Check out “Speaking Terms” and “Valentine” for the mix on full display. Jordan is bringing Snail Mail to Coachella—but is stopping by the Cargo Concert Hall, 255 N. Virginia St., in between festival weekends, on Tuesday, April 18.
What was the first concert you attended?
Hilary Duff at the 1st Mariner Arena (in Baltimore) when I was 5. Halfway through the set, I remember she got tired and just sat in a chair and did the rest of the show in a chair.
What was the first album you owned?
The first physical album was either So Wrong, It’s Right by All Time Low, or Oracular Spectacular by MGMT. I remember I got them in quick succession at the mall.
What bands are you listening to right now?
The Stone Roses, and Water From Your Eyes. There’s this band called @, and they’re so fucking good. My Idea, The American Analog Set, and Ice Spice.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?
I’m implicating myself, because I got thrown in here, but sad-girl shit just drives me insane. Maybe it’s just because I never want to be part of a category like that, but the implication of sad girls, the whole concept, feels kind of sexist and belittling to the artists who they’re talking about. I just feel like the category is categorized by women being expressive, and I don’t think it’s chill to make that a genre. Just let people be expressive!
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
I’ve never seen Water From Your Eyes. I’m excited that we’re going on tour together, and I’ve been wanting to see them for years. I would love to see PinkPantheress. I’ve never seen Dijon live, but I watch live videos all the time. He’s so good at what he does, and his band is so sick.
What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?
Maybe the Viva la Vida era of Coldplay. The first couple albums are, like, masterpieces. X&Y, fucking Parachutes and shit—all that stuff’s awesome. After Viva la Vida, it starts to get kind of crazy, but sometimes there are some songs I’m still on board for, but I listen to them in my car, and I wouldn’t want people to see that.
What’s your favorite music venue?
There are definitely some places we played in Europe where it’s like, “What the fuck? Where are we? How is this a venue?” because it’s so beautiful. Fuji Rock was the best view I’ve ever had on a stage, but maybe Le Botanique in Brussels. The grounds have beautiful statues all over, and it just doesn’t feel like you’re at a venue; it feels like you’re at a beautiful garden with, like, all these different levels, and they give you delicious food and wine.
What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?
I heard “Closer” by The Chainsmokers on the radio in an Uber the other day for the first time in so long, and honestly, I really liked that song when it came out. When I was just thinking of guilty-pleasure songs, it came to mind, and now I can’t get it out of my head.
What band or artist changed your life? How?
Paramore for sure. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 5 and have always been in environments where I felt discouraged. I don’t think I knew that guitar was even like gendered like that; I just felt discouraged and left out. I felt, “I’m really good at what I do, but why do I feel like I wouldn’t be able to do this job?” I saw Paramore when I was 8 with my older sister. It literally jumped me into gear, and I was, like, “I want to be a singer.” I was always a guitar player, and always wanted to kind of be in the background. … I just wanted to be crunchy and be like the bands I liked. I saw that show, and I remember being like, “Oh, damn. If I could just do something like that, that’d be cool,” and to this day, they’re still one of my favorite bands.
You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?
I would probably ask David Byrne where he gets all the funk from. I was watching Stop Making Sense the other day. I was pretty stoned, and I started crying. I’ve loved the Talking Heads forever, but I was like, “What the fuck? This arrangement is crazy!” This guy must have sold his soul to the devil or something to have this, like, insane funk within him.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
I’m gonna go with “Vapour Trail” by Ride. I think that’s my favorite song of all time, maybe seconded by “Under the Milky Way” by The Church.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Elliott Smith. I got a tattoo based on that album.
What song should everyone listen to right now?
“Standing in the Sun” by Jessica Lea Mayfield.