Genre: Ambient indie rock with influences of soul and folk
Location: Franklin, Tenessee, USA
Discography: Fortune Tellers (2007), Angel Snow (2012) Secret EP (2015) Mantra (2015)
Record Label: Tone Tree Records
Angel Snow is one of our favourite singer-songwriters. She has writes and performs the kind of music that you can just fall in love with. She has the highest caliber of artistry often intertwined with the deepest sincerity. Her music at it's purest, is a most honest reflection of her life.
Exploring the deepest sides of the human experience, it is Angel's hope to question and touch on topics that often go unspoken and in doing so, create music that provokes an honest, emotional response.
The acclaimed Alison Krauss recognized this rare quality and recorded three songs written by Angel for the deluxe edition of her latest album. Shortly after, Alison introduced Angel to her brother Viktor Krauss. She felt they would have cool creative chemistry and she was right. Viktor and Angel proceeded to meet and write three songs together. “Lie Awake, ” “These Days” and “A Place Outside” are featured on Angel’s self-titled album Angel Snow, which Viktor also produced and on Alison Krauss’ album Paper Airplane. The Angel Snow LP was featured on No Country’s Best Nashville Records of 2012.
Working with several different producers throughout the recording process created a talent matrix that allowed Angel to fully explore a wide range of musical options. She adds, “I decided to work with people who are comfortable moving with me into new territory, where I am neither coming or going—but just as I am. And who I am in this moment requires a whole new sound; one which I hope will be an honest reflection of how I have progressed as a performer and, perhapsmore importantly, as a person.”
Fate and faithful perseverance have brought Angel to the present, as she prepares to release her second full-length set. With a major boost from acclaimed star Alison Krauss, Angel's lifelong dreams are coming to fruition. Krauss and Union Station recorded three songs written by Snow for the deluxe edition of the band’s latest album.
“When I met Alison I knew that something was about to happen in my life,” Angel recalls. “The stars aligned in one afternoon, and I met her at the home of a mutual friend. I gave her a CD and she asked me to come to her house the next day. She made me realize that better things were in store for me. It was more than I could have ever hoped for.
“She felt like her brother Viktor and I would have cool creative chemistry. She was right on, because a week later Vik and I wrote the song ‘Lie Awake’ on our first meeting. And that song ended up on the new Alison Krauss and Union Station record.”
Snow was the lyricist that instrumentalist Viktor Krass had long been searching for—he had written the music for “Lie Awake” more than ten years prior. She recalls, “When I heard Vik play that first riff of ‘Lie Awake’ on the guitar, I had a vision of an old white house in a field in the middle of nowhere. A family lived there and the mother was trying very hard to find a way to escape her abusive husband. And she is always lying awake at night trying to figure out how to leave. It’s an empathy story. I’m moved by stories like that. I know that very lonely feeling when you lie awake at night and you can hear the clock ticking.”
Much like the music of her greatest influences, Angel's songs veer between imagined stories like this one and real-life experiences, always showing incredible sympathy for the suffering and downtrodden. Among her favorite songwriters are Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Bob Dylan, Trent Reznor, and Elliot Smith.
In the two years since meeting Viktor, a renowned musician in his own right, they have written dozens of songs and started work on Angel's sophomore album. With Viktor Krauss as producer, they recruited stellar session players including drummer Matt Chamberlain.
The album has eight new songs as well as a few updated tracks originally found on her well-received debut, Fortune Tellers.
One of the new Angel Snow/Viktor Krauss co-writes is proving to be an early fan favorite. “‘These Days’ was probably the fourth or fifth song Vik and I wrote together,” explains Angel. “It’s about making decisions based on what your heart tells you, and being true to yourself. Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘comparison is the thief of joy.’”
Fans may be surprised to find out that Angel Snow is her given name, chosen by her brothers who were five and three at the time. The lofty moniker proved fitting, and she was living up to it at an early age.
Angel started singing in the church choir at age six and was soon stealing the spotlight with solo performances. She wrote her first song at age nine, but it would be several years later before she realized that music was her life’s calling. After earning a college degree in psychology, followed by a stint in acting school, she headed west, where so many others have found inspiration among the soaring mountains and natural wonders.
“I was 22 when I moved out west,” says Angel. “It was the first time I’d ever done anything completely on my own. I made the decision to venture out on a Greyhound bus. I look back on it now and it was tough, but I wanted to see this country that I’d never seen before. Working in the parks in Yellowstone and Yosemite, camping and taking in the land and mountains, it was a defining time in my life. That’s where a lot of the songwriting started, because I played guitar every day. I was always playing music with different people that I met and ‘California’ was written about that.”
“California” and the other songs on her debut Fortune Tellers exemplify Angel's most heartfelt solo-writing. “Coals and Water” is another much-loved track from that album that has been recorded with new instrumentation for the upcoming release. Angel remembers penning the song while living in Philadelphia. “I was sleeping on a friend’s sofa that was so short that my feet hung off. But I didn’t care—it was freedom to me. I didn’t have anything except my suitcase. I was trying to follow my faith, and it was hard not knowing what the next step was going to be. I remember having the feeling that there was nothing else out there.”
Her long voyage of faith has lead her to the present, where opportunity appears limitless. “It’s an amazing feeling,” she says of her success thus far. “It’s indescribable. It’s been a hard road, and a lot of hard work, but it’s all been worth it. It’s been a hell of a journey.”
An EP Secret spotlights the first three songs on the Mantra LP, giving listeners a glimpse into this exciting new direction. “These new songs reflect (or represent) my evolution as an artist,” Angel says. “I have been experimenting with what is, for me, a totally new creative process: combining percussion and ambient sound in a way that, I hope, will strike a nerve.”
The EP’s title track “Secret” is currently featured on the SpotifyNashville Indie Spotlight 2015 playlist. The Secret EP will be released on June 2nd via Tone Tree Records and available on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.
After touring the U.S. and U.K. Angel headed back into the studio to record her newest full-length album titled Mantra. With an entirely new sound that captures her unique vocal and lyrical progression, the new songs shimmer with driving pop beats, synths, keys, sterling vocals and soulful guitar licks.
The Mantra LP releases later this autumn with tour dates to be announced shortly.