Posts Tagged ‘Eskimeaux’

theepoch

The Epoch Collective, is a community of musicians, writers, visual artists, filmmakers, and more. We were grown together, and are growing still.

One of the final shows of the recent Bellows/Eskimeaux tour. Gabrielle Smith, aka Eskimeaux, was selling merch in a tiny, dusty cellar when a fan approached Smith and gushed to her something of how, The Epoch changed her life!” While flattered, Smith was not terribly surprised this is the sort of reaction The Epoch receives regularly.

Searching The Epoch tag directs one towards a seemingly infinite number of posts citing the group’s influence, pictures from shows, and even handmade cross-stitches. But gaining Internet fandom is not terribly difficult. Over the past three years, The Epoch bands has transformed from being their own biggest fans to having an incredibly devoted and wide spread fan base. For example Told Slant the band’s emotional outpour is overwhelming in itself, it was even more powerful to see how cathartic their music is for their fans. But perhaps the most admirable part about The Epoch is that they have found success completely by their own means. Starting a band with your best friends is a dream many have, but being in three or four bands with your friends, touring together, living together, and being genuinely kind people is actually an accomplishment. This is obviously a group worth examining.

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Most of the members met through attending the same schools or the same shows in the New York City area. While the details of their friendship foundations would require a much longer piece, the core Epoch members orated a brief timeline of the group, from their repressed high schools bands to now, when most of the members lived together in Brooklyn. The Epoch has transformed and will transform still. Because, as the collective says, “We were grown together, and are growing still.”

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The first unofficial Epoch band was The Mighty Handful. The self-described super group of relative unknowns would hand everyone in the audience instruments and shred paper from their parents’ offices for confetti; the concept was very much 2007-DIY party. But even back in 2008, there are glimmers of The Epoch as it is today. A majority of The Epoch members were involved in the band, even on the periphery: Henry Crawford, Jack Greenleaf, and Felix Walworth played in the band, Oliver Kalb may have made an appearance once, and Smith cites the shows as the beginning of her friendship with her future bandmates. But while the grandiose showmanship of The Mighty Handful may barely resemble the performances of its members now, Crawford said the “grains of the language and the attitude” would influence The Epoch. Specifically, the importance of mantras. The group’s future collective would be called The Epoch.

The collective had no trouble finding members; they were already there. But one large struggle was the creation of a logo. Finally, they agreed on the birds of flight because they felt the image best represented a group that may not sound similar, but love each other completely.

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Around the time of its conception, the Epoch members were spread across the country, each member had began independently writing music. Crawford was attending college in Chicago when he began Small Wonder. In January, Crawford released Wendy, a weighty, emotional record filled with soaring melodies. Greenleaf, like Crawford, also relocated to Chicago. It was there that he rediscovered his teenage love of Pop and The result became Sharpless, whose sophomore album “The One I Wanted To Be” was released in May.

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Back on the east coast, room mates Kalb and Walworth created Bellows and Told Slant,  Kalb released As If To Say I Hate Daylight, Bellows’ first album. After touring extensively with Bellows and Told Slant, graduating college, and returning to New York City, Kalb released his sophomore record, Blue Breath. In 2012, Walworth released the debut Told Slant LP Still Water. Now, two years later, the album has been re-released on vinyl. Kalb and Walworth, roommates, enlisted a variety of friends to play in their bands, but each has been a mainstay in each other’s bands, along with Gabrielle Smith. Smith describes herself as “a pretty late bloomer with music.”One of her first bands, Legs, was composed mostly of members found on Craigslist. Smith’s  current project, eskimeaux, are now, with a solid four piece live band, eskimeaux will be following up several EPs with a new album.

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Emily Sprague grew up in upstate New York. After performing for years in the Woodstock area under her own name, she moved to Albany. It was there that she met the Epoch gang. About a year ago, she adopted the name Florist, and has released several EPs of shivery honesty. Susannah Cutler is an artist and a musician. Cutler has been around The Epoch since its beginning , but she was “primarily represented as a visual artist up until recently.” She credits The Epoch as giving her the confidence to give her music a name and take her musical desires more seriously. Her project is called Yours Are the Only Ears.

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A lot of the NYC bands were trying to create a feeling , Most of our bands don’t sound similar but a uniting quality is that we all want to create music that people can feel like they are a part of rather then feel like they are just watching.

If you like this you should check out these bands.

Small Wonder, Florist, Bellows, Eskimeaux, Told Slant, Yours Are The Only Ears, Sharpless,Lamniformes,

Eskimeaux 'Year Of The Rabbit' (LP/CD/Book/MP3)

Eskimeaux :: Year of the Rabbit EP
Out April 15th, 2015 on Double Double Whammy Records

Eskimeaux shared the new mini album,Year Of The Rabbit their highly anticipated new mini-album. Year of the Rabbit finds the band replacing the highly produced and overdubbed sound of 2015’s critically acclaimed O.K. with a more immediate, naturally produced sound, showcasing the sound of Eskimeaux’s live band. MTV, who premiered the album are calling it “near-perfect pop” and saying “Year Of The Rabbit balances isolation and connection, love and loss, light and dark – and the beauty of finding everything that lies in between.”

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Eskimeaux’s “Broken Necks” was written as part of an ongoing musical dialogue with Keith Hampson, who releases music under the name Power Animal.

Power Animal’s “3 Months And A Week” — the song that “Broken Necks” was a response to — will be included on his upcoming full-length, Good Wind Pt. 1. It samples a song from Eskimeaux’s 2011 album Two Mountains, and twists the familiar refrain from one about bending over backwards to support someone else into one about not being able to support yourself at all.

It was written during a week-long hospital stay, and bears the scars of isolation and helplessness, of wanting to get better for the one that you love but having no control over your own body, of feeling simultaneously guilty and frustrated. “My only sustenance from the words you said/ But dying wondering how it fell apart,” Hampson and Smith duet, projecting the inevitable end of their unsustainable romance. “Of course it did: I was trying to fix something that I could not fix/ I was blind from the beginning/ I was fumbling round on the ice so thin, just wondering how I kept falling in.” Hampson places their struggle against a gauzy, shuffling beat that both invites you closer and keeps you at a distance, much like the relationship that inspired it. It’s a powerful and haunting piece of music, made only more so by knowing its protracted lineage

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We’re living in the Year of the Monkey, but Brooklyn-based, D.I.Y.-minded rocker Gabrielle Smith (who records as Eskimeaux) has her mind on 2011, a.k.a. the Year of the Rabbit. That’s when she entered a highly fulfilling relationship (she describes it as “dope”) with her current partner Oliver Kalb, who plays in Eskimeaux and with Smith in Bellows. It’s also the title of her forthcoming mini-album, due April 15 on Double Double Whammy.

“We have a pretty unique relationship because we’re in a bunch of bands together,” Smith tells Billboard. “But we tour sometimes separately, because I’m in Frankie Cosmos… We’ll sometimes have long times apart and it’s very therapeutic because it gives me perspective on how dope our relationship is.”

Indeed, it’s the sort of perspective that comes when you’re able to look back on a young relationship several years onward. Smith delved into that soothing time apart on her latest track,

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Oliver and I have a lot of each other’s lyrics in each other’s songs and kind of write back and forth,” Smith says. “Sometimes Greta [Kline] will say something that’s really poignant to me in a Frankie Cosmos song and I’ll use that line to respond to it with my feelings attached… It happens with LVL UP, too. They have a bunch of Frankie Cosmos lyrics in their songs.”

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This Sunday is Valentine’s Day which makes Eskimeaux’s new single sound extremely appropriate in a deeply fucked way. “Power” explores the inevitable power play that surfaces when you realize that you’re deeply bonded to someone. That struggle materializes now and then between both friends and lovers, but I’m more inclined to consider the song through the lens of the latter and here’s why: no one will make you want to commit murder more than the people you have inexplicably intense feelings for. Gabrielle Smith opens the song with a line about macabre insect mating rituals (“Wish I could love you less like a praying mantis/ Rip your head off every time this starts to feel right”) and she ends it with a reminder that people, like places, can make you claustrophobic. “Oh! What power can be drawn/ From just a day of being alone.” It’s an essential reminder, because this I know to be true: it is far easier to tear someone down and make them feel small than it is to acknowledge and honor the vulnerability you feel in their presence. “Power” was recorded by Emily Sprague (of Florist) and is the debut single off of Eskimeaux’s forthcoming six-song mini album Year Of The Rabbit, which is out in April and follows last year’s O.K.

Eskimeaux :: Year of the Rabbit EP
Out April 15th, 2015 on Double Double Whammy Records

Eskimeaux’s OK is easily my most played album of the year, next to the Courtney Barnett record. There’s lighthearted, almost childlike beauty in the way Gabrielle Smith puts words to song. Here are OK’s first lines:

In my dreams you’re a bathtub running,
You are warm and tender,
And bubbling,
Oh, you are cold and bristling and struggling

As an adopted child, Smith discovered that her biological father is Tlingit Eskimo; she describes the -eaux suffix as “just a playful jumble of letters that represents the way I record — a confusing layering of sounds that somehow coalesce into something simple.”

Smith has performed at the Tiny Desk before: She’s part of a New York art collective that includes Told Slant, Small Wonder and Bellows, and Bellows played here not too long ago. Some of the players in those bands sing with Smith in her final song — one of my favorite songs of the year — called “I Admit I’m Scared,” which ends with a few perfectly chosen words:

And if I had a dime for every time I’m freaking out,
We could fly around the world
Or just get out of your parents’ house,

Set List
“Folly” 00:00
“A Hug Too Long” 02:42
“I Admit I’m Scared” 05:25

Eskimeaux: Gabrielle Smith and the rest of the above mentioned Epoch Collective of N.Y. artists have made the record I’ve listened to more than any other this year. O.K. will surely be in my year end top five.It was magic to have an impromptu, audience-led singalong to the words of “I Admit, I’m Scared.” Cathartic and loving.

Eskimeaux is the recording project of songwriter and producer Gabrielle Smith. Smith started using the moniker in 2007, releasing experimental and noise albums through 2010, and developing the sound over the years into the realm of more structured songwriting (2011’s Two Mountains), EDM (2012’s Eskimeaux), and more recently, as evident in her new album, O.K., beat-driven and poetic bedroom pop. Eskimeaux is a founding member of The Epoch, a Brooklyn-based songwriting and art collective.

ESKIMEAUX – ” OK “

Posted: August 30, 2015 in MUSIC
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Eskimeaux is the songwriting and production project of Gabrielle Smith. The live Eskimeaux band is Gabrielle Smith, Oliver Kalb, Felix Walworth, and Jack Greenleaf.  Smith started using the moniker in 2007, releasing experimental and noise albums through 2010, and developing the sound over the years into the realm of more structured songwriting (2011’s “Two Mountains”), droney, dark EDM (2012’s “Eskimeaux”), and more recently, as evident in her new album, “O.K.” (to be released on Double Double Whammy), beat-driven and poetic bedroom pop. Eskimeaux is a founding member of The Epoch, a Brooklyn-based songwriting and art collective.

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There’s a heart at the middle of Eskimeaux’s new record that refuses to stop beating. From the momentous swells of “The Thunder Answered Back” to the quiet contemplation of its closing track, Gabrielle Smith paints a clear picture: You need to be OK with not being OK. You need to accept that your emotions are legitimate — sometimes they’re beautiful, and sometimes they’re very, very not, but they are real. OK acts like a salve for an open wound. It acknowledges that it’s scary to be alone, and encourages you to find strength in the tremendous warmth of friendship

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Eskimeaux, one of Bob Boilen's favorite new acts of 2015. What's yours?

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The most appropriate word to describe Gabrielle Smith’s solo project Eskimeaux might be “togetherness.” The band founded Brooklyn songwriting and art collective the Epoch in 2011 along with several of their friends, but this sense of mutual support and do-it-together philosophy has long been a part of Smith’s M.O. She originally formed Eskimeaux in 2007, all the while happily joining her peers’ and fellow collective members’ bands Bellows, Told Slant, and Frankie Cosmos. Smith’s songs reflect this type of profound concern for the well-being of those around her, an eagerness to take a backseat when others need her and a longing to still express her own sharp meditations on love and loneliness.

Several of the songs on O.K. are new versions of previous recordings, but this time around Smith has scaled back to outline each melody in clearer brush strokes. Where certain tracks on 2013’s Igluenza were monotone or drawn out, they graduate to fully formed pop on this release. Before, “I Admit I’m Scared” felt flat despite its visually compelling lyrics (“Everything I said spewed like sparklers from my mouth/ They looked pretty as they flew but now they’re useless and burnt out”), while here it’s one of the album’s strongest moments. Subtle harmonies slowly coax Smith’s gentle alto into a confident soar over Felix Walworth’s galloping drum fill. She casually divulges secrets as though her arm is already on your shoulder, her quiet relatability spiking upwards at the climax (“If I had a dime for every time I’m freaking out/ We could fly around the world or just get out of your parents’ house”).

Sonically, O.K. is the most fitting pallette for Smith’s work. In the past she’s played around with drum machines and broken synth beats, which weighed her down in gloomy, droning noise. This LP finally matches Eskimeaux’s illuminating presence. She slips from sparse indie-folk to ethereal pop throughout the record, each arrangement rich and meticulously composed. The band never overpowers Smith’s celestial vocals, and she’s able to keep up with the slow-burning tension when it eventually detonates. Walworth’s attentive drumming is a welcome addition that swells and retracts to complement Jack Greenleaf’s twinkling synth arpeggios.