if you still haven’t indulged in sniffle party’s debut ep, peach dream, yet, carve out fifteen minutes to correct this oversight. the four songs serve as a primer to the breadth of serena wagner’s nascent songwriting capacity, her spacious contralto meshing seamlessly with two castles’ minimalist, purposeful production.
“waving,” wagner’s first new song in nearly eight months, strikes a familiar mood, her voice echoing distantly in a cavern of pristine synth motifs and warm, enveloping bass tones. attendees of live sniffle party performances over the past year should recognize “waving,” and can especially revel in the full, saturated harmonies that permeate the song’s hook. take a listen below.
sniffle party’s initial arrival last fall felt like a covert operation. a lone song, “all the snow is gone,” dropped on soundcloud without much fanfare, yet its rubbery bass lines and swirling, reverb-laden vocals evoked a nostalgia that gradually pushed the track outside the parameters of a well-kept local secret. the project was quickly enveloped under the umbrella of lowkey radical, an arts collective that uses the i-94 corridor between minneapolis and eau claire to shuttle its aesthetic into two key midwestern markets; the song eventually became a precursor to something more substantial.
if witch house truly died and was buried, then sniffle party exhumed the genre’s body and pumped it full of stadium-pop steroids. serena wagner’s contralto lilts with an affect that straddles melancholic and maudlin across the entirety of her brand-new debut ep, peach dream, rising and falling with the effortless cadence of a sigh. this decidedly moody, haunting timbre is certainly fodder for eric charles christenson’s production cues, but neo-noir atmospheres occasionally blossom into grand, sweeping gestures, like the cascading synth arpeggios bolstering the hook on “cavalier” and the bubbling undercurrent that pushes wagner into the stratosphere on “wanderer.”
peach dream premieres here on the dimestore, right below this paragraph. it’s a beautiful collaboration, yet another reason why the collective mindset of lowkey radical has the capacity to resonate far and wide beyond their geographic confines. this is a soundtrack for sunsets, for reflection, for twilight drives through backcountry roads. dig in.