Portland’s Snake Lips just dropped the local Song of the Year …

Yeah, I know. I haven’t written jack-shit in weeks now. I been busy.

Happy Anxious, the new release from Portland, Maine’s Snake Lips.

So sue me.

And honestly, I hadn’t planned to write anything tonight, either. But, as The Dude once said: new shit has come to light, man.

And that new shit is the latest single from Repeating Cloud recording artist Snake Lips, which drops tonight at midnight.

And it is anything but shit. Jesus Tapdancing Christ, it’s fucking gold.

You ask me, and I’m gonna assume by reading this far that you pretty much have, these guys, these Snake Lips, have just released the best local song of the year.

I know, the year’s only half over, and there’s a lot of amazing local music yet to come, and another local band might just put out a song that’s even better. Fair enough.

So let’s leave it at this, then: with this new release, Happy Anxious, Snake Lips has set the bar pretty goddam high. Listen to it here.

Elijah — That Hideous Sound — did a solo set at the record-release party for the last Snake Lips disc, Melt the Sun.

Recorded at home and mixed and mastered by Elijah, a Repeating Cloud labelmate who puts out material as That Hideous Sound, the new track presents a sound that is far more substantial than the Snake Lips tracks that have come before: beefy, full-throated, and sporting a sonic profile that’s straight outta ’90s college radio.

And then there’s the song itself, well written and tightly crafted.

Without question, Happy Anxious represents an enormous step forward for these guys, both sonically and artistically.

Their last record, Melt the Sun, was a lathe-cut slab of melodic, shoegaze pop that stood up to repeated listening, and continues to, nearly a year after its release. But this new track, Happy Anxious, represents a fully realized vision of the dreamy-yet-edgy psychedlia that Melt the Sun only hinted at.

Snake Lips in action …

Built on a deceptively simple chord progression, the tune kicks off with a bit of a false start, then slides into a happy little groove that grabs your ear and says: come on along, we’ll have some fun.

And yet, the lyrics that you’re soon blissfully humming along to are anything but fun. In fact, they’re pretty fucking bleak, speaking directly to the crazy, brutal existential anxiety that we’ve all normalized these days, cataloging the damage without specifically calling out any single source.

Which leaves you, the listener, to fill in the blanks.

And the effect is profound.

Jarring, even. But, ultimately, cathartic.

Which, I know, is a helluva lot to hang on what is, ultimately, a pop song that checks in at less the two minutes long.

But that’s what makes this song great; it’s why it not only stands up to repeated listenings, it invites them. With this song, Snake Lips isn’t telling you how it is, they’re inviting you to figure that out for yourself.

And that’s pretty goddam powerful.

Happy Anxious is the first of a handful of tracks that will be rolling out monthly until the vinyl hits the streets in September. Cassettes are coming, too, from Totally Real Records outta Brooklyn. But if past is prologue, you’ll be able to get any or all of it on the Bandcamp page.

Until that day, though, set an alarm for midnight tonight. Wake the kids, and phone the neighbors, and gather ’round the ol’ streaming service and listen to the new Snake Lips track, Happy Anxious.

It’ll do you good.

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