Doubt comes out from under the woodwork at the most inconvenient times. When you're Lindsey Jordan — the 19-year-old guitarist and songwriter whose second album as Snail Mail, Lush, comes out June 8 — that worry manifests as four burly hockey players.
"Heat Wave," in its tightly-woven guitar work and thinly-veiled lyrical contempt, is a masterclass in dart-tip, indie-rock precision. It's a bile-filled repudiation, not only to an emotionally distant ex, but to the legions of bros whose masculinity manifests in insidious forms.
"I hope the love that you find swallows you wholly, like you said it might," she sings, appropriating a throwaway, well-intentioned breakup line into a sing-songy punch to the jugular. Snail Mail's work is filled with efficient lines, but here, they're wielded with a blunt force.
Jordan has noted that there's "a crunchy, bright, screaming sound" in "Heat Wave" that she deploys only intermittently. It's raucous and tasteful — destructive, but cleans up after itself. If nothing else, it's a sneer to the countless people who still doubt her well-documented guitar prowess.
In the music video (which mixes the hockey-underdog staple The Mighty Ducks with the Lynchian surrealism of Twin Peaks), as in the everyday lives of young folks — young women in particular — there's more than just one boogeyman. It's the dudes who pin their insecurities and wish fulfillment onto their romantic interests, the guys who refuse to acknowledge the complex inner lives of young women who make art for an audience and the myriad others in between.
After, she annihilates them all for good by the buzzer with a glowing, Super Mario one-upped hockey puck. Snail Mail has made a song that feels like it could do the same.