Any band that describes themselves as an alt-rock band drawing inspiration from a lot of alt-country, folk & shoegaze – as did Sheffield’s Since Torino – have already made more than one step towards a review. For any bands out there thinking of doing the same, you better back that up with the sound; fortunately Since Torino sound exactly like that.
The song starts out sounding like Bob Dylan doing a country folk waltz with the unexpectedly beautiful addition of mouth organ, gently plucked guitar. And then there’s a voice – it’s fragile, delicate, the sound of a small voice in your head. At this point not even a minute in, I’m choked up, I’m already moved emotionally. And then gently the guitars come in, the sound has moved into shoegaze but so softly you don’t even realise. The effect is to wrench at your heart. But there, somewhere there, is that same tune that is at the start of the track. It builds to climax and ends intriguingly on bass notes.
The whole does something to me that not many bands do – two to mention are the now broken up Pepe Sylvia, and Leed’s band shaene, both of whom have elements of folk,country and shoegaze – it contacts so deeply and emotionally that it leaves me drained. Part of this is the music, of course it’s played gorgeously, and part of this is the words that tell what sounds like a very personal story. But, you see it isn’t, it’s the whole; somehow the magic of this is that the two parts somehow make something bigger.
Although I described the vocal as fragile, I should really be applying this to the song. It’s fragile, ragged and jagged at the edges. It speaks and sounds like disappointment and weary acceptance. The song speaks of the passing of time, and the changes that time brings. And it does this musically, lyrically, vocally and any other way you want it to.
I’ve said this before, and shall probably say it again, there are times I’m so grateful I write for LSF because not only do I get to hear things I probably wouldn’t have heard otherwise, and I get to encourage you to hear them too. This is one of those times.
‘Snow’ is overwhelming emotionally, it’s jaw droppingly good musically. It is so-so beautiful. This is one you all need to hear.