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New Snail’s House: Snö

Over at Bandcamp Daily, I wrote about the new wave of “kawaii” artists who are helping expand the sound often associated with that word. Think of it as a continuation of this piece looking at the history of “kawaii” music, and one that tries not too simply settle (the fact is, each artist I talked to had a different take on the classification, from enthusiasm to rejecting it). Snail’s House definitely stands as this community’s biggest name, and in a bit of nice timing he released a new album called Snö late last week. As the title implies, it takes on a winter vibe, finding Snail’s House embracing sparser formats and a sonic palette that’s actually a bit frostier than his usual choices. Warmer moments creep through — “Thaw [interlude]” adds some familiar playroom pep that makes the bouncy “[whiteout]” all the livelier — but the best instances here find the producer using space in ways they haven’t before. See “[covered in white]” and it’s Junior Boys-esque synthesizer work, or the skittery “[snowdrift].” It’s not the kawaii you’d expect, but again that’s the whole point. Get it here, or listen below.