A year of Snail’s House

According to my last.fm account, I first listened to Snail’s House on 12 January, 2022. My last.fm is only hooked up to my Spotify account, so it may have been a few days earlier, because I remember my first listen was actually on SoundCloud.

I was browsing someone’s (I don’t remember whose) personal site on the small web, which I was getting into around the same time. They had linked to their SoundCloud account, and on there they had shared the track Cosmic Love. I listened to it and thought it was kind of crazy and fun. It was super synthetic, but still full of personality and vitality. I ended up listening through a bunch more of their music on SoundCloud that day.

Ever since then, they’ve been my most listened artist by a long shot. According to my last.fm stats, about 2 of every 15 tracks I listened to this year are Snail’s House. My next top artist, Cocteau Twins, has about ⅔rds as many plays.* My Spotify Wrapped told me I was in the top 0.05% of listeners of Snail’s House on the platform this year.

Pinky Promise is a prime example of Snail’s House’s maximalist aesthetic.
mint from this same EP is another favorite of mine.

It’s a little difficult to explain why I enjoy such highly-produced, sugary music. Prior to 2022, I listened to electronic music only sparingly. Honestly, the most similar thing from my past listening I can compare it to is a handful of songs by Aphex Twin (e.g. 4), which seems way different.

At the core of it, I think it has to do with how much is going on in the music. There’s all these bright, shiny timbres and busy percussion coming at you all the time, but everything can be quickly digested by the ear. It feels like it saturates the music-processing part of my brain, even when I can only spend a small amount of attention on the music. This makes it perfect at the computer while I’m otherwise occupied with work, which is how I listen to music most of the time.

Beyond that, though, I also really enjoy the music itself. The melodies are catchy, the beats are fun to dance to, and it just feels human in a way that most music as artificial as this fails to. With my deep dive into Snail’s House, I explored a way of enjoying music that had been underdeveloped up to this point. This year will probably be the peak of my Snail’s House listening, but I’m grateful to them for opening up a new facet of my musical life. I’m excited to see how my listening in 2023 will develop me further!

Do you listen to Snail’s House? Have you ever gotten into music that was really different from what you previously listened to? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​ctrl-c.club.

* I don’t have stats from previous years because I started using last.fm only in 2021, but I do wonder how Snail’s House stacks up against my all-time top artists (the #1 of which is almost certainly Sufjan Stevens).