Snøw’s Debut Album ‘I Smoke To Cope’ Sums Up The Messy Nature Of Growth, Addiction & Love

And it’s quite dope

Photo: Kaytlyn Justo

Last fall we discovered a Salem gem named Snøw – a multi-talented artist who knows how to dexterously manipulate lo-fi, hip-hop, acoustic, and alternative genres to frisson-inducing sounds. Since his early teenage days of making music as a hobby to being featured on the Platinum hit “Get You the Moon,” Snøw has gone a long way with his musical journey releasing an impressive number of viral hits in a short amount of time.

Today, he has unveiled his highly anticipated record I Smoke To Cope where he taps into the complex relationship we have with substances and other toxic distractions to deal with growing pains. “In the beginning, it looks like it’s an album about love and heartbreak, but there’s more to it. The album talks a lot about using substances to go through life at a very young age and not being able to stop, despite knowing that it’s not the smartest choice. It’s largely based on my friends’ and my own personal experiences. We have all been through a lot even though we are still very young. In the end, the songs represent a silver lining to anyone listening to them, some of them are heartfelt and sad while some others just encourage you to keep going.”

The opener “Misbehave” nails the hollow feeling of loneliness we’ve experienced when we seek to numb our heartbreak by going to a party. With its slow-burning beats, the song feels like a slo-mo scene of a movie where the protagonist is suffering in silence while everyone around seems to be having the time of their lives.

The record also includes his previously released songs “Another Lie,” “Helpless,” “Blaming Me For Us,” “Demon Girl,” and “TOX!C.” These are songs that chant about bad relationships, unconditional love, and growth. Hopscotching between the extreme ends of hate and love, Snøw sweeps his listeners all the way of the emotional spectrum that makes every track a vivid auditory experience. Amongst all the love/breakup songs, “One Eye Open” ft. Kerri is probably the most reflective one where he shows a level of self-awareness and maturity as he looks back on a failed relationship.

But his most vulnerable moment comes in “Underground” where he navigates through the different ways people grieve for someone. While psychology breaks down grief into five stages, Snøw illustrates it as a messier process where people don’t always go through the stages chronologically and often find destructive coping mechanism – like drugs, alcohol, etc. – to deal with it. In “Smoke Sesh,” he admits the emotional weight one’s substance abuse can have to their loved ones.

What makes I Smoke To Cope a record that perfectly sums up the human experience of pain and love is the honest picture he paints of the fuckups and mess that are involved in the process. Getting over someone, growing closer to a loved one, accepting your mistakes, grieving through a loss, and using substances are far more complex to be portrayed in simple narratives. With his debut record, Snøw shows the different types of chaos that are all part of our journey in learning to connect with others and ourselves while finding our own sources of comfort, which oftentimes are toxic in other ways.