Eskimeaux is a Brooklyn-based recording project started by New Jerseyite Gabrielle Smith in 2007. She’s recorded a couple of albums and EPs, and will have a new one coming out on May 12 via Double Double Whammy. When she performs live, she’s joined by some guys who are all in the collective of artists and musicians called The Epoch.
I had never heard of Eskimeaux until I got a few emails starting about three weeks ago. All of her stuff has been bedroom recording project stuff, but apparently, the style has been a bit different each time. This time, it’s a bit folk, a bit lo-fi cuddle-punk, a bit noise, a bit electronic, a bit twee. It’s Olympia and DC in the early 1990s and Glasgow in the mid 20-aughts.
“I Admit I’m Scared” by Eskimeaux
I love how the first 1:22 is just the gently strummed guitar and Gabrielle’s dulcet voice. It gets real quiet for a second before the guitar, bass, drums, and keys all come in together. And right there at that change, there’s a lot that reminds me of “Teenager” by Camera Obscura. It’s something about the way the vocals are way out front in the mix and treated with just a little bit of reverb or delay or whatever. There’s something, too, about the way the drums are treated. I’ve listened to that song “Teenager” about a quarter of a trillion times, and I never get tired of it (although I’ve grown to hate everything post-Let’s Get Out of This Country). There’s something about the song that also reminds me in a less specific way of things like Lois and Tiger Trap stuff of that post-riot grrrl ilk. If you knew me in the mid-to-late 1990s, you know how much of a thing I had for Lois Maffeo, so I’m not throwing this comparison around lightly. Gabrielle Smith doesn’t sing like Lois Maffeo, but there’s something to the fact that these are songs about being desperately in love. Here’s a line from “Broken Necks”, which is another song from the forthcoming album:
While you were breaking your neck just to keep your head up
I was breaking my neck just to stick it out for you
It’s stuff like that, and this line about the mad love coupled with some uncertainty, from tonight’s song:
If I had a dime for every time I freaked out
We could fly around the world, or just get out of your parents’ house
The album will come out on May 12 via Double Double Whammy. You can pre-order from bandcamp here, and you’ll get instant downloads of “I Admit I’m Scared” and “Broken Necks”.