Two years after folk-pop duo Snowblink self-released Long Live, the album gets a proper debut on Fire Records. And that’s a good thing: with help from Ryan Driver, Dirty Projectors bassist Nat Baldwin and others, Snowblink have crafted an album unlike any you’ll hear all year. Beginning with the album’s first lyric—“What’d you grow those antlers for?”—singer-guitarist Daniela Gesundheit and bandmate Dan Goldman weave carefully wrought accompaniment to a treasure trove of stories that unfold in strange and beautiful ways. Gesundheit has an affinity for the natural world, describing “gifts of Bering land bridge”, “yellow pelts of pollen”, “a cursive culled from gulls”, and the “white side of a whale wishbone”, all in a siren’s voice, with smoky but delicate high notes that would make Marissa Nadler proud. On the chorus to “The Tired Bees”, voices mimic a deep contrabass, lumbering along before sad violins swoop in to join them in the march. In the bridge to “Ambergris”, Gesundheit sings, “Rebecca, they sent us twin redheaded boys / So let’s dress them all their days in turquoise”; the instruments come to a sudden, anxious halt, and the moment is resolved as the cascading melody that opened the song returns for the coda. Moments like these are all over Long Live. Having made their mark in San Francisco and risen to indie-pop stardom in the Toronto scene, Snowblink is poised with their debut to make new fans in every town in between.
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