“…like a mantra in a way. Everything is done for me.”
Sneaks’ lyric sheets read in stride like paratactic exercises in zing zong. Over three records of drum machine and bass, she whispers and chortles, coos and shrieks a syllable graffiti, some of the spray of aerosol and acrylic more discernible than other. ‘PBNJ’ (It’s A Myth, 2017) carries enough verbiage over its playing card caught in a bicycle spoke percussion for a short story or, leastways, an improvved attempt at capturing motion, though the gist of the thrust remains to be parsed: the track’s video is in plurality a sequence of shaking frames chasing Sneaks close from just behind, spliced with face-up, sway-and-shimmy portraits of personequins and their mimes. To the other other side, ‘No Problem’ (Gymnastics, 2016) reads in its totality, EKG-skittery and matters of fact down the phoneline / PA announcement, like the clicking cylinder output of a broken-minted mimeograph, or a septet of coin flips:
I read in the recursive tapeloop of the internet ether that Sneaks’ droll words and curt phrases are suggestive of Sappho. I won’t assert that’s bullsh*t (see: ‘If you are squeamish / Don’t prod the / beach rubble’)1, but I am saying that using ‘Sapphic’ in an album review is bullshit. In, fleek, entremet bullshit. Though so’s calling LP sleeve metadata ‘paratactic’, as is this ἀπόφασις of roundabout inequation between vital poets dead and live. It’d be good to ask next time. Sneaks, I mean, no whom besides. Good to ask Sneaks what she thinks and let it be as she likes.
Sneaks’ label, Merge Records, kind of gave away this whole charade when it called her music ‘kaleidoscopic’ and said it’s ‘like a piece of art with as many interpretations as people who view it’. The music is subjective and subjunctive, a little whatever in the eye of the beholder, fodder of ifeellike. A ploy of postmodern marketing, though cloying and blinkered at that: did the writer of the presser ever consider the interpretations of those who view the music (a malaphor) more than once; who view the music and get to reset the specs – say, the length of the tube or the hues of the polygons – of the scope; who just read pressers and takes?
None of that’s on Sneaks, but the tic gloss and pithy conceits of the music industry. ‘Never wait / move weight / one way / who’s next’ shtick.
I’m a few months ago new to her music and I like it a lot, and if there weren’t a word quota for this show ad and raffle announcement, I would’ve left it at that. I like ‘The Way it Goes’ (Highway Hypnosis, 2018) and ‘Suck It Like a Whistle’ (ibid) best of her new gigs, and I intend to do some broken slate elbows and quizzical emu neck dancing if she plays either on Wednesday. If I remember, I’ll also chant the unsense visions when they invoke her: ‘XTY’; ‘paddywhack’; ‘devo’; et cetera, et cetera.
For a chance to win 1 (one) pair (2 (two)) of tickets, send us a message at win(at)indieberlin.de.
And thank you, if you’ve made it here, for making the time. If you have comments, questions, or other sundry feedback to offer, I encourage you to reach out to me via my e-mail, ptkurth(at)gmail.com.
In the interim, take care.