Local Music Reviews
Snailhorse = PROTEUS Soundtrack x Ray Lynch
Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Marge finds a discount Chanel dress? She becomes obsessed with cutting it into new outfits so that she can keep wearing it over and over again as something new. Snailhorse II feels like that. Built using a collection of similar, repeating synths, the album is a lavish heap of electronic glop ladled on your plate and drizzled with uplifting moments that feel squishy between the fingers, ready to pop in understated, gooey excitement.
Snailhorse knows how to make music feel wonderful. The album’s synth-driven melodies wring the fantastic, and the sound is pleasant, cute and comfortable. Using its track titles (e.g. “Inchworm Ballad,” “Mrs. Ladybug,” “Butterfly’s Easter Sunrise”), the album frames many of its soundscapes as existing around a garden full of bugs and creatures. Opening track “Jester’s Evergreen Castle” quickly reveals the album’s underlying musical motifs, a repeating series of warbling, droning synths that give the album its swaddling texture.
Tracks with vocals become the high points because of how they introduce contrast. “Someday Glory” features the soft-spoken, repeating lyrics, “Please call my name / I’ll meet you there” and gives the track a unique shape, fostering warmth and nostalgia for early relationships. I would have loved more vocal work throughout the album in that vein.
Listening to Snailhorse II is like putting on your most-loved, most-comfortable sweater—the one that may be unflattering but that you know looks cute from just the right angle. Why would you ever take it off? And then it’s like wearing that outfit for a week straight and suddenly realizing you no longer feel cute in it, you no longer are capable of feeling cute in it, and you need to take it off, take a shower and do something else. Time to buy a new Chanel sweater. –Parker Scott Mortensen