“There’s a purity to Emerson Snowe’s (aka The Creases’ Jarrod Mahon) solo project – a charming naivety that daubs everything he does in wide-eyed, childlike innocence. Coupled with his understated, timeless songwriting, the whole thing makes for something blissfully unblemished.” – NME
Emerson Snowe is the moniker of 24 year old musician and visual artist Jarrod Mahon. He grew up in Townsville, but Brisbane is home. Started at 17 years old, Emerson Snowe began as an outlet for Jarrod to house recordings, demos and ideas to show to his mates. At the time, Jarrod was, as most teenagers tend to be, a little unsure of himself and of what he wanted Emerson Snowe to be. After four years of recording, touring and performing with his band The Creases, two years of giving up alcohol, and countless hours of writing and learning about himself, Jarrod Mahon has been revealing Emerson Snowe gradually to the world through a number of releases.
In July Matt Wilkinson premiered single ‘Sunlight’ – a rapturous, upbeat and sunny slice of garage pop, brimming with low-fi textures, confident production and on-the-nose lyricism (“I need a break from my phone and computer, it’s driving me wild”). The following single ‘Could You Love Me?’ is almost the opposite: a piano ballad that opens slowly and solemnly, as Jarrod’s vocals are layered over vintage drum patterns and synth.
His latest release ‘If I Die, Then I Die’ is an ode to letting go in love and breaking through and that’s what it did when BBC1’s Jack Saunders picked it to support late in 2018. The overall result is a varied and wholly unique experience about happiness, sadness, sobriety, love and self-control, loosely inspired by a hall of artists that Jarrod admires: Ariel Pink’s oddball pop, anti-folk artists like Patti Smith and Daniel Johnston, and the emotionally resonant Sufjan Stevens.
These songs are the triumph of the quiet confidence that drives Emerson Snowe – a confidence that Jarrod found when he decided to not sweat the small stuff: “I decided to try and not think about things too much. My writing is really literal – it’s like a stream of consciousness and the simplest things always turn out the best. That’s what I’ve learnt.” With this new found outlook Jarrod writes a song a day, every day, sometimes for months at a time. In a fortnight he can write an album worth of songs. What is most impressive is that across all of these songs, Emerson Snowe sounds like nothing and no one else. Simply because the songs are him, Jarrod Mahon. Humble, unconventional and self-assured.
The last twelve months Emerson Snowe has continued to garner widespread support with national tours across Australia with King Krule, Ariel Pink and GUM along with his debut shows in the UK/EU. It also saw the debut of his live band at BigSound with a huge performance that earned him the BigSound Levi’s Prize for 2018. With recognition from his peers and industry Emerson Snowe has also been included in the ‘First Fifty’ announce for The Great Escape in 2019 along with NME’s ‘100 Artists To Watch’ for the same year which is setting him for another exciting twelve months.
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