Bristol’s Snails return in exuberant form on their second full-length album, ‘Hard-wired’. Over 10 songs that unfold with an origami-like precision and attention to detail, the west country 6-piece expand their lush, outsider-pop template into new sonic and emotional territory, alchemising existential doubt into condensed elegies of often breathtaking beauty.
From opener “It doesn’t have to be true”, Hard-wired envelops the listener in a comforting intimacy of sound and vocal harmony, overflowing with a subtlety of lyricism and generosity of spirit that led Pete Paphides to praise their debut Safe in Silence as “simply the most effortlessly charming set of songs I’ve heard in a long time.”
But for each rousing melody or affirming chorus on the new record, an emotional flipside is clearly evident in its lyrical themes. Hard-wired is a bittersweet and often troubled meditation on love, intimacy and the limits of human connection. For the band’s songwriter Dan Weltman, this grew out of a challenging period of personal doubt, as well as the difficulties of an ongoing long-distance relationship. Writing turned out to be a powerful way to dissect and begin to disentangle these complex emotional knots.
Dan Weltman: guitar, vocals
Anna Kissell: vocals
Holly McIntosh: bass guitar, vocals
Robin Williams: electric guitar
Matthew Chaney: keyboards
Steve Dixon: drums
Francesca Simmons: violin, viola