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had perhaps taken some things for granted. ‘All of this shifted my perspective on a lot of things and that’s reflected in song after song on this album. My life up to this point has been somehow very sheltered or stable or only due to good fortune I’ve been insulated from those kind of dislocating shocks. So those things made the emotional core of the album.’
Suddenly is not only Snaith’s response to these life-altering changes, but also his attempt to provide a sense of comfort to those around him and those that may be experiencing similar circumstances. Yes, Suddenly is a personal reflection, but in some ways, its content is innately political too. ‘I feel like to make an album that aims to be inclusive and comforting and assist people in that way has to be political to some degree as well. I mean, the impulse was personal, but I feel like it also has a political element to it.’ Speaking on the thematic substance of the record, Snaith notes that Suddenly is his first time openly and unabashedly addressing issues of political and cultural importance in his music. ‘Something that I’ve always struggled with and felt was a failing in my music is that it didn’t have this kind of political component,’ he says. ‘This is the first time there is a song on [one of my] records about a political, cultural shift. The first song “Sister” is about the #MeToo movement and thinking that I was somebody who was an ally or aware that sexual violence, etc. was a problem. But then realising during that moment, I had no clue and I was completely unaware of the reality of the situation in women’s lives, broadly speaking. And so the lyrics in that song are like a kind of commitment to have my eyes open and be aware and be part of the solution to the problem.’
Another track on the record, ‘Magpie’, is a tribute to the late sound engineer Julia Brightly, who was a close friend of Snaith’s. He explains how she was in the process of transitioning while they were on tour, and how as well as providing her friendship, she offered a vital education in trans issues. ‘I was with her the night before she died and this was just before Our Love came out. And this song is kind of a letter to her about wishing that I were able to communicate with her the degree to which trans awareness and trans rights have changed during the course of these years since she’s been gone.’
Suddenly speaks of immeasurable loss and disorder, but its euphoric samples, shifting rhythms and Snaith’s own wistful vocals are somewhat soothing among the poignancy. With the upcoming tour in support of the album currently postponed due to our own global unexpected circumstances, fans will have to wait a little bit longer to connect in person with Snaith’s latest body of work. In the meantime though, you can guarantee that he’ll be plugging away at his next project; writing, composing and working towards providing us with another way to alleviate the pressures of life and its invariable unpredictability.
‘To some degree, the thing that’s kept this fresh and exciting and interesting for me over the years is a lack of a sense of plan,’ Snaith says of the future. ‘I have no idea what will come next, and that’s kind of the point for me almost.’
Caribou, Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, postponed to Tue 8 Sep due to the COVID-19 virus.
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B LU E 1 Apr–31 May 2020 THE LIST 81