Eugene Register Guard - The Silver Snails are a truly international outfit making their return to the Northwest

The Silver Snails’ charter declares that the band must work to open human hearts through sound, light and words. Toward this undertaking, the band builds harmonically layered, rich songs sung in English, French, Italian, Mandarin and even Sanskrit to cast a wide communicative net.

Sanskrit lyrics arise in an autobiographical story involving the birth of a daughter, the death of a friend, Dante’s guide through hell, George Harrison and a rickety old truck. Like The Silver Snails, it’s a strange, sedimentary tale, filled with personal love and a universal spirit.

Half of the band, singer and songwriter Lucas Ward, brings this embracing spirit to Sam Bonds on Sunday. The other half of the band, songwriter and video producer Elisa Fantini, remains in Romagna, Italy, taking care of the pair’s three children.

The Silver Snails’ literal mom and pop outfit began in Italy, where the pair met. Fantini is originally from Romagna, about half an hour west of the Adriatic Sea. When the young couple wished to start a family, Ward unplugged from a career that took him from Beijing to Taiwan to Hong Kong to return to Fantini’s home to be near her parents.

As Ward was decompressing and learning Italian, he spent about six or seven years noodling with a vague musical dream, playing and building a studio, vibing with locals and studying different genres as the family grew. In 2009, Ward had an epiphany: He wanted to be a songwriter, to compose music professionally and to play pop rock.

“I decided that the voice was now going to be my instrument,” Ward said. “And my animal totem will be the snail that’s all over this little valley we live in.”

Nicole Cobb