When the lights go down and the world turns off, the truth comes into focus.
Such moments of quiet introspection inform, impact, and inspire Nashville songstress Angel Snow. As life spins at light speed without pause, Snow provides understated ambient pop folk bliss that echoes with pure and powerful emotion. Her Nettwerk Records debut Magnetic (2017) marked a significant shift in Snow's catalog that American Songwriter heralded as "remarkable," and aptly compared to Emmylou Harris's Wrecking Ball.
Snow is currently gearing up for an extensive UK and US tour in support of her latest EP Arrows,which is slated to kick-off in November 2019. Arrowsis a continuation of the ethereal introspection found on Magnetic, albeit more organic in tone - no doubt a direct result of enlisting Ben Kramer of Old Sea Brigade to produce.
Together, they unlocked new facets of her sound, embracing swaths of purring ambience, expansive omnichord and understated but impressive fingerstyle guitar.
“Ben brought a completely different element to what I do, but we maintained who I am at the same time. We found a lot of common ground we loved. I also messed around with the range of my voice and how deep I can go without being self-conscious. I’m embracing my voice for the first time. We’re bringing the vocal up. I’m much more confident in how I sing. I enjoyed more freedom than I ever have in the process. Lyrically, I was able to craft more of a creative narrative. I love writing short stories. The storytelling became a central part of the EP.”
Over the course of five months, Snow and Kramer assembled the six-track EP. In the spirit of experimentation and evolution, however, they envisioned this body of work in two formats – (1) full production and (2) a more stripped down acoustic version appropriately titled Stripped. Reflecting on these acoustic versions, Snow describes why this alternate approach resonated with her:
“I was able to get outside of myself and see the range of the composition in the acoustic recordings. It opened me up a little bit more to embrace the songs for what they are. The emotions really showed through and shined. The feeling behind everything gets to the forefront. It’s a great way for the lyrics and stories to resonate.”
The first single “Window Seat” illuminates the nuances of her narration. Delicate beats and sonic flourishes underscore a vivid and emotionally charged portrait of moving on.
“It’s about going through the storms of life, accepting what’s ahead of you, and taking a window seat to get passed it,” she says. “I was envisioning this girl on a plane, looking out the window, seeing those clouds in the distance, and thinking, ‘I’m going through this by myself.’ You’re accepting who you are and the role you play on the planet in addition to bracing yourself for the next thing to come.”
Her voice echoes with a stirring sense of soul on “Arrows,” which details, according to Snow, “a love story of two people who have to let each other go.” “Higher Urgency” hinges on a positive proclamation punctuated by robust vocals and infectious energy. Meanwhile, the slightly more upbeat “Maze” recalls an evening of reckless abandon over lush instrumentation.
“Making ‘Maze’helped me. You recognize you can’t get too out of hand. Any of us could go down that wrong path and become too far gone. Somehow, there’s always been a threshold that hasn’t allowed me to go any further when I have tested the limits, so to speak. I think a lot of people can relate to it.”
In the end, Angel beckons you turn off the lights, close your eyes, and drift off to this music.
“I think we should all just sit in the dark with one another and see each other for who we really are. Don’t deny who you are now or who you’ve been in the past. Be in the moment more. A lot of my music is about this. I’m just trying be the best person I know how to be, embrace any and all flaws, and create to the best of my ability. I want to be in the moment. I want to use all of the gifts that I’ve been given and take advantage of them while I’m on this planet. That’s my goal."