Eskimeaux’s O.K. was one of our favorite records last year. O.K. felt like a warm blanket on a cold day, bringing a warmth and comfort to the listener. Tomorrow, Eskimeaux releases their latest EP, Year of The Rabbit. From the music, to the record’s artwork, it’s just as warm and welcoming as O.K. On Year of The Rabbit, Gabrielle Smith is joined by her fellow Epoch collective members, Oliver Kalb (Bellows), Jack Greenleaf (Sharpless), Felix Walworth (Told Slant), Emily Sprague (Florist), and Henry Crawford (Small Wonder), all adding their own touch to the six tracks.
Lyrically, Year of The Rabbit focuses on relationships – romantic and with friends and even introspective ones. It opens up with the title track, “Year Of The Rabbit”, on which Smith is joined by Frankie Cosmos’ Greta Kline. The song centers around communication in a relationship, where Smith sings about how there is more to a relationship than staring at a screen. The song comes to a close with an amazing, alternating vocal between “I’m feeling good” and “are you mad?”. On “What The Fuck”, Smith sings “What the fuck is a kiss anyway? What the fuck is this feeling?” over a driving and frenetic drumbeat that really shows off how great this band is as a whole.
“Power” is a fantastic pop track about the power struggle between two people in a relationship, comparing their love to that of a praying mantis. “Drunk” is a song that invokes imagery of early stages of a relationship, like making plans for a date and the shyness that accompanies the first meeting.
“Bulldog” is a pleasant change of pace for the record, especially after the big ending of “Drunk”. “Bulldog” is a beautiful, heartfelt track of just Smith and her guitar. It is dreamy and stunning and the space between it and the final track “Sleeping Bear” is absolutely perfect. “Sleeping Bear” is another whirlwind, building and building before coming to an ending with just Smith singing over an electric guitar.
Year of the Rabbit is a great, short listen at only 15 minutes. These songs are all instantly relateable, engaging, and warm. The combination of Gabrielle Smith and the people who played on this album with her just create a feeling most modern indie-pop outfits struggle to achieve. Despite being only six tracks and fifteen minutes long, this Year of The Rabbit will be with us all year.
Year of the Rabbit is out tomorrow, April 15, on Double Double Whammy records.
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