Local four-piece set to release anticipated debut album after a year of tears, glitter and growth
When we last caught up with snarls, prior to Alive’s 2019 Bands to Watch concert, singer/guitarist Chlo White had nine wigs. At some point in the past year, though, she threw them all out.
“In the moment, I was like, ‘You know what? I don't need to tie myself so tightly to outward appearance. That's a huge form of my expression, but how can I express myself as fulfilling in other ways?'” White said. “It was simple but also deep, just because I'm super prone to identity crises all the time. … I would buy [the wigs] during a manic episode.”
Eventually, after quitting wigs cold turkey, White came back around on them and purchased three new ones (ginger, blue and cotton-candy pink), but with an updated understanding of herself.
“I had to kind of reinvent how I wore them, because at first it was a really weird, unhealthy thing. … I would play it off, like, ‘Oh, yeah, I like to wear wigs,’ but it was more like, ‘I need these to not feel like poop today,’” White said. “Now I can use them for fun. It's just an accessory. ... I am generally just doing a lot better. It’s crazy what's happened for all of us in this past year. We've all grown.”
Along with the mental and emotional growth, snarls’ profile has skyrocketed in the last several months. The band garnered write-ups in Rolling Stone, Stereogum and MTV, and signed to label Take This to Heart Records, which will release the local “emo glitter pop” quartet’s debut album, Burst, on Friday, March 6 — the same day snarls will celebrate the record with a sold-out release show at Ace of Cups alongside Van Dale and Girl Fox. (You can also stream Burst now on Bandcamp.)
The hype and accolades are deserved. While snarls’ self-titled 2018 EP was a worthy intro to the band, Burst is a fully formed debut, with 10 sparkly guitar-pop songs (recorded by Relay’s Jon Fintel) about messy relationships and growing up and death. Whether harmonizing or trading off vocals, White and singer/bassist Riley Hall sound perfectly in sync, especially on single “Walk in the Woods.”
On “Hair,” a friend has the audacity to tell White to “stop messing with your hair,” which, given her history with wigs, is, um, unwise. “You can’t tell me what to do!” White repeats over big, distorted guitars and pounding drums.
“I don't really edit my feelings,” White said. “It would be a disservice to others and myself to not be completely transparent and honest.”
Guitarist Mick Martinez is finally at the point where she can listen to Burst without nitpicking and just bask in the music she made with her friends and family (drummer Max Martinez is her younger brother). “The fact that it's us, and it's Chlo writing those words... it touches my heart,” Martinez said.
“It makes me cry sometimes,” White said. “There's this one particular scene in ‘Family Guy’ where it's 2 a.m., and Meg is just laying in her bed with her headphones and an iPod Nano, just bawling all by herself — softly, silently crying. That’s me. Late at night, when I'm real in my feels, that's how I get. It kind of makes me feel better. … It's made me realize that I've grown past this thing, so I can now grow past this next thing I'm going through. … I'm still scared as shit. But I'm fine.”