Vocal range in indie rock tends to be my deciding factor in categorizing good bands from great bands due to it's ability to influence improved direction of simple melody and smooth tones. Expression with male vocals in range and scope tend to prove very rewarding for bands that explore very obscure corners of indie; yawning quixotic melodies and wisp-like tunes that tug on the heart strings and remind you of a better time always seem to stick out above the noise of everyday indie listening. Snowmine has an intrinsic ability to absorb listeners with simply great vocals, and then convert them for the remainder of the listening experience with limitless melody.
To be able to dredge the husky hoarse tones necessary to convey a sense of suppressed sensuality the whimpering exasperation heard in 'Beast in Air, Beast in Water' is impossible to adequately convey with instrumentation. However, accompaniment, especially by a string and horns section propel the entire composition to new heights.
I tend to pick out and praise more beach care-free beach rock vibes in indie styling these days as the lines between funk and folk dissolve and are replaced by this addiction to cross genre vibrations and experimental exploits. Check out 'Let Me In' for reference.
Snowmine in summary is a wonderful conglomeration of what I consider to be the peak of indie rock. Strong vocal base supported by electro-fluid rhythm in both guitar and any guest instrumentation, conjure up likeness to perhaps a more west coast Vampire Weekend despite their Brooklyn locality.
While sophomore album Dialects loses some of the innocence of Laminate Pet Animal, it gains so much more in aged growth. A true sense of maturity can be felt stylistically as each song transpires into a sort of woeful bliss. Something that I find my self zoning out to as if lured out of body and mind. The verdict has been in for quite sometime: truly a group to keep an ear on, one of my new favorite listens: Swowmine