Eskimeaux reissues debut record

Gabby Smith (Eskimeaux)

One of my favorite new releases this year has been O.K. by NYC bedroom recording artist Eskimeaux. The band is currently a quartet, but it’s mostly the work of Gabrielle “Gabby” Smith. You may recall that I wrote about the song “I Admit I’m Scared” back in May, just before the release of O.K..

As I pointed out in that post, OK is the latest in a pretty long list of Eskimeaux releases, and she records with a slightly different style on every release. There’s no mistaking the DIY bedroom recording quality of the early records, and it’s safe to lump most of the releases in under the broad umbrella of “indie folk”, but there’s something different with each release.

Smith started using the name Eskimeaux in 2007, and recorded some experimental stuff for a few years. In 2011, she released her proper debut, called Two Mountains, which had some elements of electronics and remnants of her experimental stuff. It also had some elements of that dreamy indie-folk. Something between an extremely low-budget Bjõrk and Grouper. That album was originally released digitally, and the only physical copies were a very limited run of CD. Last week, Yellow K Records reissued the album, meaning that it’s available on vinyl (and cassette) for the first time.

I committed to covering the re-issue, but it sort of slipped my mind until I was writing about Frankie Cosmos yesterday. Gabby Smith is also in that band, which is fronted by the daughter of Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline.

Here, you can enjoy one of the songs from the album.
“For Power Animal” by Eskimeaux

I really like the tuned percussion. I also really like the loops and layers. This particular song also uses Julianna Barwick-like vocal riffs rather than proper vocals, and I kinda like that. And whatever that is that’s been manipulated and looped to sound like boots marching? I love it. That might be a record in the runoff groove, it might be something else.

This particular song doesn’t have it, but other songs feature a theremin. Or maybe a tannerin. I’m always a fan of that. Overall, it’s a very different record to the new one. It’s also very good.

The Yellow K reissue is not a remaster or a “deluxe” reissue. It’s merely a re-release. It was pressed on regular black vinyl and also on clear vinyl. The clear one sold out very quickly. The black vinyl is available, but it looks like it won’t ship out until the middle of November. I assume that the CD and cassette formats will also become available on November 13. For now, you can buy an instant download or pre-order the standard vinyl via bandcamp here.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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