I was first exposed to Snowmine when I caught them on a bill with Dirty Gold at Union Hall in Brooklyn in early April. I wrote about Dirty Gold’s set at the time, but decided to hold off on mentioning Snowmine because their debut LP, Laminate Pet Animal, is damn good and deserves its own post.
My first impression of Snowmine was colored by the eternity it took them to set up at Union Hall. I remember thinking that even the likes of Johnny Greenwood would probably consider their intricately constructed effect boards excessive. I waited, expecting at any moment for some kind of strange ephemeral elevator music to start pumping out of the speakers. Instead, I was blown away for the following 45 minutes with sublime electronic hooks, tight percussion, bright guitars, and vocals reminiscent of bands such as Yeasayer and Local Natives. It was a wonderfully pleasant surprise.
Hailing from Brooklyn, Snowmine is fronted by Grayson Sanders on keys and vocals. Playing alongside Sanders are Jay Goodman on bass, Alex Beckman on drums, and Austin Mendenhall and Scott Seelig on guitars. Sanders is purportedly influenced by classical musicians such as Stravinsky and Ravel, and has been involved in the classical scene in New York.
On Laminate Pet Animal, Snowmine leads the listener through an eclectic genre-bending journey. Moments of distorted mayhem are resolved through simple chord progressions and vocal melodies in songs like Beast in Air, Beast in Water and Danger in the Snow. Songs such as Penny and The Hill hold onto a wonderful pop sentimentality. The highlight of the album for me is the final track, Hologram.
Laminate Pet Animal was released on May 3 and is available for download via Bandcamp.