Classic pop songwriting never goes out of fashion, but between The Lemon Twigs’ Everything Harmony, Rozi Plain’s Prize and now this handsome third album from Locate S1, it may be enjoying something of a renaissance in 2023. Wicked Jaw is a sprawling effort from Athens, Georgia-based Christina Schneider, one that tries on all manner of stylistic hats but is rooted at its core in hooks, melody and a breezy lightness of touch.
Lead single ‘You Were Right About One Thing’ opens the album and sets the tone, its rich melodies and noodling guitar indebted to Christine McVie but also masking some compositional intricacy in the clever interaction between the guitars and bass. Schneider does this often, crafting songs that reveal more and more of themselves on repeat listen; the gorgeous ‘Danielle’ might be the standout, but there’s off-kilter pop magic on the synthy ‘Heart Attack’, too, while the improvisational ‘Daffodil’ is perhaps the most direct evidence that she’s not afraid to wade into experimental territory. That she does all of this while processing profound trauma – writing the songs as an “expression valve” while she went through therapy for childhood sexual abuse – makes Wicked Jaw all the more remarkable.