Posts Tagged ‘Gabrielle Smith’

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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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 – ” OK “

Posted: August 30, 2015 in MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

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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?