Album: Snowbeast by Snowbeast
The upsurge of intentional lo-fi music that has pervaded the Internet lately has usually been written by artists looking to emulate roughness and obscurity through the recording means now offered on everything from Ableton Live to Pro Tools. Without question, many of these faux-fi musicians seek the warmth of analog or grittiness of a past era’s recording technology, but Snowbeast’s lo-fi tendencies and stripped aesthetic never sound over-wrought or exploitative. There is honesty within this EP that somehow gets lost or strangled out of a recording once it undergoes the slick treatments of post-production.
But Snowbeast’s strength doesn’t lie solely in its production. Vocalists Riun Garner and Brayden Pichor drawl and scream their lyrics, which hinge on the threat of growing older and the paranoia that accompanies too much change too quickly. “Backyards and alleyways/ Skateboards and roller blades/ It’s all stayed the same,” Riun sings, ending the repeated refrain with “It’s you that has changed.” At certain moments, Snowbeast break from their grungy, shout-along guitar rock to dabble in Vampire Weekend tropic stomp and electro noise, and these left turns occur only when the lyrical mood becomes harried, panicked, or even playful. Snowbeast have crafted an entire world that expands beyond their EP. Their moniker, EP title, and opener all share the same title, and their Facebook page provides a proper definition of the Snowbeast that stalks their persona. In short, to “capture a glimpse of a Snowbeast” is to witness truth, ease the mind, and retreat into a world free from pain. It’s a bare release from a bare-bones band –one that invites you into the church they recorded in and hands its music to you with delicate ease and raw emotion.