Interview: Gabrielle Smith of eskimeaux

(Photo taken from MySpace.) eskimeaux play Danger Danger Gallery tonight with Lonnie Walker and Dinosaur Feathers. Below is “Trinkets” a track off of eskimeaux’s upcoming EP which is yet...

(Photo taken from MySpace.)

eskimeaux play Danger Danger Gallery tonight with Lonnie Walker and Dinosaur Feathers. Below is “Trinkets” a track off of eskimeaux’s upcoming EP which is yet unnamed. Gabrielle Smith’s soft voice tells the beautiful story of feeling left behind by someone else. Whoever you are missing, this song will make you miss them more.

[audio:Trinkets 1.mp3|titles=Trinkets|artists=eskimeaux]

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with eskimeaux’s Gabrielle about their upcoming album, live shows, and some of her favorite bands. They’ve got an upcoming tape that will be released via Mine, All Mine! and will be recording a new EP that I’ll be sure to keep you informed about.

Jilian: I was just wondering what has guided you through your most recent recording processes? Any influences, musical or otherwise?
Gabrielle: I have found that since I started eskimeaux I have been in a really transient period of my life. Each album marks the end of a period or the beginning of a new one, or at least what I think is going to be. For example, the most recent album I finished was supposed to mark the true beginning of independence from my family and moving out of New York and into Philadelphia. Musically, my recording processes are most influenced by Brandon Ayres (of Rasputin’s Secret Police, Brandon Can’t Dance, and Gorgeous) and Ben Schurr from Br’er.. Brandon was the reason I realized that I could do home recording. I didn’t really understand that it could be done until I heard his music and he told me that he recorded all of it on the ‘Sound Recorder’ program through a pinhole mic. His solo project, Brandon Can’t Dance, was what introduced me to and made me fall instantly in love with the Philadelphia music scene. Ben Schurr taught me everything I know about making quality recordings — that having meager means doesn’t mean that all recordings have to sound totally lo-fi. He also taught me how to be lyrically straightforward and to add dynamics and form to my songs, because I had basically released 4 albums of shapeless stylings with a couple of gems here and there.
Jilian: I noticed on your blog you have been playing more live shows recently. How has your set evolved throughout the past few months?
Gabrielle: Our band has completely sprouted from nothingness to a legitimate live set within the past 2 months. I got really sick of playing shows by myself because I felt like they were missing all of the layers of the recordings. Elliott, of A Stick and A Stone, asked me to play a show with him in Baltimore and I was dreading it because of this. My friend lent me his band to back me up and we played the show after 3 rehearsals. We were pretty bad at that show, but since then we’ve gotten a lot better and I’m really happy with our sound, despite the fact that it is drastically different from the recordings. Our live set has a much more upbeat feeling to it and is more family folk band-ish than the creepy, ethereal sounds of the records.
Jilian: What are you working on now? Any future recording plans?
Gabrielle: I recently finished an album that is going to be released on Mine, All Mine! Records from Madison, Wisconsin. We’re going to be releasing it on tape, though I have yet to come up with a name for the release. As far as future recording plans, I am going to record an EP on a digital 16-track, which will be a huge difference from my usual pinhole-mic-to-garageband approach. Hopefully this recording project will capture more of the live sound of eskimeaux.
Jilian: And what are some of your favorite bands right now, especially Philadelphia ones?
Gabrielle: Aside from Joanna Newsom and Mount Eerie, my favorite Philly bands are A Stick and A Stone (who are playing on July 24th at The Magic Gardens and everyone should go see them. 7pm!!!), Power Animal, Drums Like Machine Guns, and Caring Practice. I am also really obsessed with this band Spirits of the Red City from Minneapolis.