Eskimeaux | Broken Necks


Makenzie McNeill

You know those artists that you KNOW you’re going to like if you actually get around to listening to them? For me, that’s Eskimeaux. I love all of their related acts (Frankie Cosmos, Bellows, etc.), I’m pretty sure I passively “liked” a song I was half-listening to on a playlist, and they’ve been recommended to me a handful of times by friends who have a pretty solid feel for my tastes.

And then I saw Gabrielle Smith perform in person by a lovely happenstance. I was living in Washington, D.C. this summer for an internship and had a generous friend and NPR employee who hooked me up with entry to a Tiny Desk performance. We were trying to coordinate our schedules – I REALLY wanted to see Son Lux, but that particular day didn’t work for me. We landed on the day Eskimeaux was performing, and the instant she opened her mouth I knew I had found my new favorite artist. Watch the performance for yourself and you’ll see why her 2015 album OK is Bob Boilen’s most played of 2015. If you can’t trust his music opinion, whose can you?

Since this was my first time actively listening and paying attention to Eskimeaux, I got a really stripped-down version of her sound. When I actually pressed play on OK and heard the studio version of “Folly” to opening track, I was pleasantly surprised by the synth beats and electronic instrumentation. It gives me a ton of Postal Service vibes.

My favorite song from the album, which might end up being my favorite album of 2015, is “Broken Necks”. Smith’s childlike voice against the glittery and bouncy synth notes make this song so sweet and endearing. It’s like getting a hug from your best friend in a strictly sonic fashion. Listen for your own hugs.