aw heck we could have simply just given the page citation for this, but trust me, this set was one of the most quietly understated releases of last year. Now getting a new lease of life via Feral Child – a deservedly so on vinyl to boot, think on the last release this label put out was just between you and me, our favourite of the year – the New Lines were its authors in case you were wondering. Anyhow as said, or haven’t said thus far, Snails who hail from Bristol are set to have their debuting ‘safe in silence’ full length lavishly pressed upon wax in a strictly limited 300 only pressing. The set incidentally emerges from the shadows at the same time as another new Deep Distance set by Sula Bassana entitled ‘organ accumulator’ – we’re trying to nab sound links for the latter, for now here’s that Snails review from way back last September in all its unfettered glory……..

 Those of you with fairly long-ish memories might well recall us swooning in the ailes and getting a tad fond of Snails’ 7-inch outing from, oooh  – about 18 months ago on the ever hip and now temporarily put to bed great pop supplement. There were rumours of further singles to come, they never emerged, an album in the offing we feared might be lost. Intended for release on GPS before plans hatched to concentrate on polytechnic youth and deep distance, a schedule brought considerably forward by matters out of the labels hands, ‘safe in silence’ finally gets its deserved release via undergrowth records. We here are thinking those GPS guys have missed a trick for this full length is succulently wrapped in a classically toned pop vintage that cools with a deceptively soft stroke of 60’s psych, twee pop bubblegrooves (see ‘more than a second’) all graced with the crafted finesse and allured musicality of Belle and Sebastian’s debuting ‘tigermilk’ along with the occasional passing nods to a youthful Tindersticks not to mention a flashing of the gorki’s (none more so is the Mynci influence better exemplified than on the shy eyed love note ‘red nose floating’). Its not brash, its far from wannabe and neither is it immediate like a rash. Instead ‘safe in silence’ is coolly assured, it doesn’t see the point in shouting and rudely vying for your attention, rathermore it hangs about quietly at the back of the queue shyly hoping to catch your ear, and when it does, between you and me, lets just say that this might well be making a bid for one of the albums of the year. Perhaps the aforementioned Great Pop Supplement single ought to tell or hint of the affectionate charms that lurk amid these grooves, both sides of it feature here, ‘winter hearts’ chirps to Bacharach motifs while arrested in an autumnal glow much recalling the much missed L’Augmentation while ‘talking to Anthony’ – what can I say, smitten on first hearing, still am as it happens, its lazy eyed string weaved lolloping softly tingled with a radiant folk hymnal spraying, arcs and allures with the sensitive tenderness of the aforementioned belle and Sebastian and tindersticks with a sprinkling of hey paulette for good measure. In truth, each ttime we’ve put this blighter on its as though someone has switched on the sun such is its lightness and happiness. Opening the set, ‘jennifer jones’ is kissed with an autumnal opening ripped straight from a ‘durable dream’ era Moviola before repositioning itself upon a vintage Sunday afternoon bandstand piping out a soft serving of old psychedelic peculiar to a music hall framing that hints to a mid career Kinks in cahoots with the purple gang. Its safe to say that ‘safe in silence’ is an album of two contrasting sides, the more reclining and thoughtfully toned spirit of the collective found over on side 2 often tugs with a hymnal campfire glow, it’s a mood captured like no other than by the surrendering ‘maisie’ with its lolloping prairie motifs serenading duskily to a cosy toed melodic framing that blissfully sways and swoons to an old school timeless folk spiritual while elsewhere the mellowed ‘seventeen’ lazily nibbles away at a secret Hefner songbook of lost lovelies before the parting sun burn of ‘go on down’ knocks you off your lulling perch with its radiant sprays of pop shimmered effervescence. A very special album indeed.


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