One of indie rock’s brightest young stars, Lindsey Jordan — who records and performs her music as Snail Mail — signed to Matador Records at age 18. The legendary indie imprint released her debut album, Lush, last year. Replete with dreamy guitar tones, intimate lyrics and keen sense of melody, Lush quickly became a favorite of critics and listeners alike.
On Thursday night, Jordan and her band headline the Wiltern. L.A. Weekly caught up with the musician by phone in advance of the show to chat about her success, what she’s been listening to, and just wanting to chill sometimes.
L.A. Weekly: You’re part of this generation of younger indie rock musicians coming up, many of whom happen to be women. Could you speak to that a little?
Lindsey Jordan: It’s kind of coincidental that we all sort of started coming up at the same time. There’ve always been women in music, but there’s like this group of like six or seven that’s getting grouped together. Which is lucky because we all really like each other [laughs].
It’s cool. It’s rewarding. It’s cool to be able to be a part of that, like, movement. I’ve never really intended to be part of anything like just based off of my identity, but now that I’ve kind of grown into it, it’s nice to be possibly making a difference in other people’s lives, and maybe inspiring people to pick up music who wouldn’t have in the first place.
After your [debut] EP came out, I heard you had something like a dozen offers from different labels. How’d you decide to sign with Matador?
I guess it just like looked good on paper [laughs]. I had a lot of people on my team that were kind of advising me and I was being practical about which label was going to give me the most longevity for a career, rather than give me this like super buzzy debut, and then not have the infrastructure to push the other records after that and keep it strong. So it was the most convincing in those areas.
Are you working on a new record?
Um, kinda. I think the process is, like, ongoing. The songs on Habit took forever, and the songs on Lush took forever, and these songs will probably take forever, too. But I’m sort of doing a little every day and hoping that I’ll have material, like, when I’m ready to have material.
What have you been listening to lately?
A lot of hip-hop and R&B stuff. I really like the most recent Rico Nasty record and I’ve been listening to a lot of Megan Thee Stallion. On a different note, I really love the new Clairo album. I really like pop a lot, too. I kind of feel like I’m most drawn to music that isn’t anything like my own right now.
You’ve been touring quite a lot. What are some of your favorite shows you’ve played?
We just did two headers in New York that were really amazing. Thalia Hall in Chicago was great. We did Primavera [Primavera Sound; music festival in Barcelona], which was awesome. I really loved playing Paris this time around. Japan. Osaka and Tokyo.
Any cool experiences you can share?
We went to this one really crazy beach and we were climbing on these cliffs and stuff. We probably weren’t supposed to go there, but we reached the top and it was like inactive volcanoes and that was really cool. We rarely get to do, like, tourism stuff — if we even have the energy for it.
We did a lot of tourism in Taipei. I also had a really good time in Tokyo. We only had like a day off. We had a friend over there and we went to this really cool arcade and hung out there for a while and got conveyor belt sushi and drank sake.
Your career has really taken off over the last couple years. What’s that been like for you?
It’s really confusing, because I haven’t really experienced adulthood in any other way. I went straight out of high school into this music career, which had [already] developed into a career [while] I was still in high school. So I sort of stepped right out of high school into this job. Which is crazy because it’s the first time since high school — starting in like a month — that I’ll have real time off.
Do you still have time for other interests?
I try to have time for other interests. I read a lot on the road. I spend a lot of time with friends. I roller-skate a lot. I really love just like laying in bed and watching movies and playing video games. It’s hard. You have to try to figure out how you can squeeze things in. I go to New York almost every weekend when I’m not on tour to see my friends. I’m moving there in a couple weeks.
Do you think you’ll still be doing Snail Mail 10 years from now?
I hope so. Yeah. I’d like to think so.
Snail Mail plays with SASAMI and Choir Boy at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 22 at the Wiltern.