The Nameless and the Named
El Gran E Records
The supposed benefit of social media is the connections we can maintain with people we’d otherwise leave behind. But this is a mimicry of friendship. Losing touch is a part of life, and no form of digital life support can change the fact you’ve pulled the plug. The quartet Snaex has been dwelling on what the passage of time does IRL, how friendships fade and families blossom and the end looms ever closer. Their fifth LP, The Nameless and the Named, shapes these existential musings into ghostly alt-country ballads. “Now if you see me in the street and call my name / I’ll be distracted by the signals and the lights,” sings Chris Teret on “My Old Friend,” a hint of resignation in his voice as guitar chords reverberate in the void. Chriss Sutherland, the other songwriting bullet in Snaex’ chamber, lends his signature vocal grit to three interludes, asking “Can you name it?” each time, over an ethereal piano-and-percussion loop. Surprisingly, “Triptych #3” gives us an answer: “Persistence is meditation, realization,” Sutherland sings. In those moments when we long for human connection, even in the form of an emoji from someone we no longer know, we must persist. And keep on living in the real world.