“Everything sort of lined up, but I don’t believe in coincidences.” Chlo White could be talking about any of the several key moments in her musical history: meeting best friend and bassist Riley Hall on the first day at a new school while they both wore the same pair of obscure Vans, being soon introduced to guitarist Mick Martinez that same week, and then finding drummer Max floating around their garage practice space. That might’ve been the easiest part of the puzzle. He’s Mick’s brother.
Snarls, the Columbus band built from these cosmic connections, is an exercise in manifestation. After their debut album Burst captured an early audience with its glittering, wide-eyed take on indie pop, the band regrouped to enter the cavernous wilderness of their next phase. “We had time to stew on this new aura our band has for this release. We have entirely new musical influences, and working with Chris Walla—that’s when it hit me that we’re in a band,” White gushes. If Snarls had to fold up their new aura into an easily packaged hype paragraph, they probably wouldn’t. “We’re in the ‘pressed flowers’ phase of our band,” White continues. “Burst was taking a fistful of glitter and throwing it, but this EP was more intentional.”
What About Flowers?, Snarls’ Walla-produced EP, pulses with the rhythm of the Pacific Northwest. It’s a release that shines in solitude and asks questions of absences: the same winning formula that’s gripped the region for decades. In the year-plus since Burst, the band has scaled their emotional intelligence to match their growth off-mic, transforming the simmering “For You” from a tender moment into a tortured one and opener “Fixed Gear” from worry to weightlessness. “If Only,” the set’s closer, is another ghostly expression of tension and release—when the band lets up for air, the lyrics are choked by confusion and loneliness. The floating understanding of wanting to be together and missing the things that make one whole pervades much of Flowers?, the second act of Snarls’ identity play.
Chlo remembers being young and spellbound by the Columbus skyline, so much so that sharing Seattle with Riley awakened a shared dream: this band was real. Snarls has flourished through similar unspoken realizations: playing packed house shows on their first runs, forecasting their “leaps and bounds” via a tarot reading the night before an album release, watching the tender thread between artist and listener be forged in real-time. This one just found the words.
Bio: James Cassar
What About Flowers? is out Nov. 12th via Take This To Heart Records