The recent release of Handful of Snowdrops’ The Impossible Dream EP was accompanied by this rueful note from founder/bandleader Jean-Pierre Mercier: “Is this really my coda? After all you’ve heard that before, right? Unless there is a millionaire hiding in my fanbase, it is. I’m tired and empty but still, I’m not going willingly. I’m going because I have no other options. None.”
As Mercier points out, this isn’t the first time that Handful of Snowdrops has gone silent — they were previously on hiatus between 1993 and 2015 — and he’s outlined plans to release some previously recorded songs and covers. Still, there’s a finality in Mercier’s note that suggests that The Impossible Dream EP was, indeed, the last bit of new music that will ever come from Handful of Snowdrops. Which is a real shame.
If you’re a fan of old school darkwave and/or the sort of sweeping, melodramatic alternative music that could only have originated in the ‘80s — I’m talking A-ha, Clan of Xymox, The Cure, New Order — then there’s a lot in the band’s catalog for you to love. Are you a sucker for chilly synthesizers, post-punk guitars, pulsing sequencers, and haunted vocals intoning gloomy, existential lyrics? Then I humbly suggest that songs like these should be your new favorite jams.
Over the last few years, Mercier has occasionally mused on Facebook concerning his band’s plight. They seemed forever consigned to being cult favorites in their hometown of Quebec City as well as certain corners of the internet — an unfortunate fact that Mercier always responded to with some measure of bemusement.
While that could come across as little more than whining by a band embittered for not having “made it,” the fact is that I find myself asking similar questions when I listen to any of their releases. Perhaps a wealthy patron does lurk in Handful of Snowdrops’ fanbase that will help fund future releases. One can always hope. In any case, if you’re a fan of any of the aforementioned bands or styles, then I highly recommend buying a couple of releases from the band’s Bandcamp page.