NEW ARTIST FIND: SNOW CULTURE
In an era of ubiquitous oversharing, sometimes a bit of mystery is nice. Not only do we have the biggest celebrities sharing the smallest details of their isolated, unreachable lives, but we also celebrities being created for doing so. For every Maisie Williams or passionate artist, traveler, or thinker creating interesting, engaging, personal works, there’s a Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian acting out and oversharing, at best, or else we have toxic meltdowns and offensive appropriation, in the case of Azealia Banks or Iggy Azalea, respectively.
Sometimes less is more. At least we don’t have to worry about our favorite music being ruined by hideous personalities (just think: Who can actually enjoy The Cosby Show, at this point?) Anonymity can even be used to cleverly comment on Pop Culture and the world around us, like with the early spectral dubstep of Burial or the gender-blending digital detournement of 18+, before they dropped the mask.
Not much is known, so far, about the enigmatic Swedish Snow Culture, featuring two artists known solely as “A” and “O”. Despite not being plastered all over billboards or selling themselves to every fashion brand or car company looking to hop on the hottest thing in Youth Culture, Snow Culture have already been featured in Interview Magazine, who debuted the video for their breakout single, “No Sleep.”
SNOW CULTURE - NO SLEEP
“No Sleep” speaks directly to Snow Culture’s reluctance to act as spokesmodels or mannequins. “"I like writing as if I'm passing the mic to someone that doesn't always get the mic, or won't even ask for it," A tells Interview, “who in the case of "No Sleep" wrote from the point of view of an outcast, someone off the grid, uninterested in consumer culture—"someone awake," "'No Sleep' is a song about refusing to close your eyes," continues O, and what, as well as who, you might find when they're wide-open. But that's not to say it's all pretty, and if you're seeking clarity, you won't find it here.”
You might not find clarity, or easy answers, but you ARE likely to find the beats suitably tough, the synth snarlingly ominous, the vocals suitably shadow-dappled. For those that miss The Knife, or when Grimes used to be more goth, or just those that like to grind against mirrored walls at 3 a.m., perhaps wearing velvet and rubber, this is your new smokey, sultry summer jam.
Judging from the early responses to “No Sleep,” you WILL be hearing about Snow Culture, even if you won’t be seeing their faces, their sneaker collections, or their shopping lists. Snow Culture’s newest single, “The Box”, got the band a feature on Billboard, who also featured the band’s first full interview. On the strength of their first few singles as well as their aesthetic, secured A and O a deal with Sweden’s Neon Gold Records, who helped to break Marina And The Diamonds, Charli XCX, and Tove Lo to the world.
Cheers to curator Benjamin Groff for bringing Snow Culture to our attention, helping We Are: The Guard continue to patrol Pop Culture for the brightest gems and deepest shadows, regardless of genre.
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.