Recent political events have brought about an onslaught of various forms of protest songs. A great many of those, including several by otherwise talented songwriters, have been borderline unlistenable. Garish attempts at salience through the most obvious and broad lyrics imaginable. Fortunately, there has also been a small facet of politically motivated music in that same swath that has been absolutely essential (IDLES’ Joy As An Act of Resistance was this site’s Album of the Year in 2018 for a reason). Cassels‘ “A Snowflake In Winter”, like much of the latter grouping, takes a completely different route to arrive at something that’s actually interesting, rather than hideously empty attempts at conjuring up an outrage that already exists in spades.
“A Snowflake In Winter” flips the script and takes aim at the emptiness of a lot of that exact brand of rhetoric, while acknowledging its appeal and the potential — or at least the desire — for it to be useful or productive. Described by the band as “a song for namby pambly snowflakes like myself”, the duo go to extreme levels of self-deprecation while examining the frustration inherent in facing overwhelming systemic evils. It’s an intelligent move that’s considerably more measured than many other stabs punk-leaning acts have made at documenting today’s political climate. While the narrative’s a heartening change of pace, the music itself is the most inspired of the band’s career, rendering “A Snowflake In Winter” — a standalone single — as a genuinely definitive moment.
If this is only a snowflake, we can only hope Cassels let us in on what it sounds like when there’s a blizzard.
Listen to “A Snowflake In Winter” below.