Black Snow, the sophomore album by indie-rock artist Horseshoes, will be officially released on Friday, October 20th. The album concentrates on themes of authenticity, honesty, and uncertainty.
The ten-track record explores the human struggle between authenticity and succumbing to societal pressure. “This album explores my confusion and journey to try and see things more clearly,” Horseshoes said. “It’s a reflection of the inner identity battles we all face at times.” The exciting new album will be released for streaming and on vinyl. The vinyl version features cover art from Off Trail Studios, reflecting the album’s message about transitions, beginnings, and endings.
Horseshoes was inspired by the birth of his daughter to live a more honest life, which is reflected in his music. Having a child changed his perspective, both personally and musically. Black Snow has a more playful sound than Horseshoes’ debut album, Desert, which was released in 2022. Horseshoes experiments with new melodies, sounds, and instrumentation on Black Snow. The artistry on the album was heavily influenced by other indie-rock artists like Elliot Smith, Alex G, Sufjan Stevens, and Wilco.
Horseshoes, formally known as Austin Greaves, has been playing and releasing music under the Horseshoes moniker since 2022. The release of his first album gained him many listeners on Spotify. He posted on his Instagram that his music was streamed a total of 37.1K times in 2022. Horseshoes has released three singles so far in 2023, all from the upcoming Black Snow album. “Hide and Seek,” “Say What You Mean,” and “L.A.” are all available to stream on all major platforms before the album’s release on October 20th. Horseshoes also released a snippet of the title track on his TikTok.
The singles from Black Snow reflect the changes in Horseshoes’ personal life and musical sensibility. The more playful tone of the album can be heard on “Hide and Seek,” the album’s first single. The track leans more into pop music with a happy, upbeat hook. The song was inspired by playing the traditional children’s game and has a lighthearted overtone with some darker themes. “This song encourages listeners to realize the dissonant interplay between having fun and being scared, not unlike playing a game of hide and seek,” Horseshoes told Ryan Martin of Jammerzine. Horseshoes also released a music video for the track.
On “Say What You Mean” and “L.A.,” Horseshoes expands on these themes and plays with other musical styles. “Say What You Mean” is an acoustic track with introspective lyrics that connect with his themes of authenticity and societal pressure. Natalie Patrick from Earmilk said the song “appeals to music enthusiasts from all walks of life.” Continuing in this more melancholy tone, “L.A.” reflects the feeling that not all is well even when the weather is sunny and warm. Horseshoes wrote on his Instagram, “This is dedicated to anyone who has ever been depressed in LA when it’s super nice and sunny out,” when sharing the song. This disconnect between the internal and external worlds is a recurring theme in Black Snow.
Listen to the rest of Horseshoes’ ten-track album, Black Snow, upon its release on October 20, 2023.